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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tigers Add to FedEx Forum Revenue

Tigers add to forum's revenue

By The Commercial Appeal
May 3, 2007

There's a $1.15-per-seat rental fee on all events at FedExForum -- one of several revenue streams used to pay off arena bonds.

That revenue stream is performing well despite the Grizzlies' slumping attendance, in part because financial projections hadn't anticipated the University of Memphis basketball team also playing in the arena. So the Tigers' presence has been a boost for the Memphis & Shelby County Sports Authority, which issued the bonds. Overall on arena revenue streams, there's projected to be a surplus of $14 million by 2010.

Authority member R.C. Johnson, reacting to that positive news during Wednesday's board meeting, put on his other hat -- that of U of M athletic director -- and asked, "Is there any possibility of readjusting or reducing or pulling out or renegotiating" the seat fee for Tiger games?

Johnson added, drawing a laugh: "I've got to pay (Tigers coach John) Calipari."

Johnson was serious about the question, but conceded it probably wasn't a matter for the authority. It wasn't immediately clear what entity he should approach on the issue.

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