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Concert Venues :: Mid-South Coliseum


Now Known As
Date Opened 1963
Venue Capacity 10,085
Venue URL
Venue Address 996 Early Maxwell Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38104

Venue Information

The Mid-South 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.

The Mid-South Coliseum was also well-known in professional wrestling as the home base for the United States Wrestling Association and its predecessors; Jerry Lawler headlined countless 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.

Much like many other coliseums and arenas built in the 1950s and 1960s in America, it is a treasure trove of memories and great concerts. In 2006, the musical group 311 held their annual "3/11" (March 11) show at the venue to a sold-out crowd of 9,000.

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.

Venue Photos

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