Summary reveals Memphis would pay at least $25M for AutoZone Par - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Summary reveals Memphis would pay at least $25M for AutoZone Park

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A number of council members say they have yet to form an opinion and need a lot more information before committing so much city money. A number of council members say they have yet to form an opinion and need a lot more information before committing so much city money.
Memphis City Council chairman Jim Strickland says the summary of the contracts failed to provide enough information for him to take a final swing Tuesday at the proposal for the city to buy AutoZone Park. Memphis City Council chairman Jim Strickland says the summary of the contracts failed to provide enough information for him to take a final swing Tuesday at the proposal for the city to buy AutoZone Park.

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Council will begin debating Tuesday whether a proposed deal to purchase AutoZone Park is a strikeout or a home run.

A number of council members say they have yet to form an opinion and need a lot more information before committing so much city money.

Memphis City Council chairman Jim Strickland says the summary of the contracts failed to provide enough information for him to take a final swing Tuesday at the proposal for the city to buy AutoZone Park.

"I've heard this rumor that they not only need a committee to approve it tomorrow ... They need the full council to approve it," said Strickland.

According to the summary, the city of Memphis would pay $20 million for the park plus an additional $5 million for improvements. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals would take control of the Memphis Redbirds, and the Cardinals would invest an additional $15 million for upgrades.

Mayor A C Wharton joined Cardinals officials last month to announce a deal was in the works to bail out the beleaguered Redbirds.

"I guess this is a good time because things have bottomed out. And the only way is up, and this is why we're getting in right now," said Wharton.

The city would repay its debt with money from, among other things, tax rebates on items sold at the park and $300,000 in annual rent from the Cardinals.

"If it truly breaks even and the city would not be responsible for any costs then it might make sense," said Strickland.

Everyone seems to agree the park is an asset worth investing in and retaining; it is just a matter of how to do it.

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