The Mid-South Coliseum, also known as "The Entertainment Capital of the Mid-South", was a multipurpose arena that seated 10,085 people in Memphis, Tennessee. It was built in 1963.


Rock concertsEdit

The Coliseum was one of the few stops on The Beatles' final American tour. Their August 19, 1966, performance is infamously known as "the Firecracker concert" due to a crowd member exploding a firecracker (which some thought was a gunshot) during the show. Television news footage of a Ku Klux Klansman making a threat to a news reporter during the show, in response to John Lennon's statement that The Beatles had become more popular than Jesus Christ.

Elvis Presley also performed at the Coliseum. His first show at the Coliseum was on March 16, 1974 which was his first Memphis concert since 1961. The album "Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis" was the concert from March 20, 1974. Elvis' last concert at the Coliseum was on July 5, 1976. The album "Recorded Live on Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis Tennessee featured for the front cover a photo of Elvis' show at the Coliseum in 1975. Elvis In Concert 1997 - The 20th Anniversary Concert was held at the Coliseum and mark the first concert for the Elvis The Concert.

British heavy metal band Judas Priest's performance at the Coliseum during their 1982 Screaming tour was released on DVD in 2006 as Live Vengeance '82.

Much like many other coliseums and arenas built in the '50s and '60s in America, it is a treasure trove of memories and great concerts. In 2006, the musical group 311 (band) held their annual "3/11" (March 11) show at the venue to a sold-out crowd of 9,000.

Professional wrestlingEdit

The Mid-South Coliseum was also well-known in Professional wrestling as the home base for the American and its predecessors; Jerry Lawler headlined hundreds of shows at the facility. Among many notable events, Lawler faced Terry Funk in a now-legendary "empty arena fight" at the Coliseum in 1981.


The Coliseum was built as a hockey arena, and served as the home of the 'old' Central Hockey League team called the Memphis Wings (later the Memphis South Stars) from 1964 through 1969. To accommodate Hockey, the floor had piping installed which allowed the circulation of brine. The floor was often left frozen between games, allowing Memphis Residents to skate. By the time the Memphis RiverKings, of a re-formed Central Hockey League began playing in 1992, the piping had become too rotten for use, and an above-floor system was used.


It was also home to three American Basketball Association teams: the Memphis Pros (1971-1972), the Memphis Tams (1972-1974) and the Memphis Sounds (1974-1975). The Coliseum also hosted five Metro Conference men's basketball tournaments.

It was home to the University of Memphis Tigers Basketball Team (then known as Memphis State University) before the Pyramid opened in 1991 and the Memphis RiverKings before the DeSoto Civic Center opened in 2000.

TV specialsEdit

In 2001, illusionist David Copperfield (illusionist) used the Mid-South Coliseum to film the live audience portion of his Tornado of Fire TV special.


The venue closed at the end of 2006, primarily because the cost to bring the venue into compliance with the Americans with disabilities act is prohibitive. [1] Its final event was a concert by the Transiberian Orchestra.



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