The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports the public building authority that will oversee construction of Memphis' new arena had its first planning meeting Monday. It was immediately faced with two competing viewpoints of how to proceed. Russ Simons, general manager of Nashville's Gaylord Center said it took three years to plan and build the Gaylord. Anything less would result in mistakes which would add greater costs later.
On the other hand, Grizzlies' owner Michael Heisley argued that the arena should be ready in two years time, saying that the team needs to get into the new arena to minimize operating losses expected while the Grizzlies are using The Pyramid. While the city and county would have to pay a $3 million penalty if the arena isn't ready for the 2003-2004 season, Heisley said, "I assure you the team will end up spending three times $3 million in the form of losses if we stay in The Pyramid another year," Where have we heard Heisley complain about losing money before?