FedExForum is a multi-purpose arena
located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee
. It is the home of the Memphis Grizzlies
of the NBA
and the NCAA Division I men's basketball program
of the University of Memphis
, both of whom previously played home games at Pyramid Arena
. The venue also has the capability of hosting ice hockey
s, and family shows.
The arena officially opened in September 2004 after much debate and also a derecho wind storm
on July 22, 2003, that nearly brought down the cranes
that were building it near the famed Beale Street
. (See Memphis Summer Storm of 2003
.) It was built at a cost of US$250 million and is owned by the City of Memphis; naming rights
were purchased by one of Memphis's best-known businesses, FedEx
, for $92 million. FedExForum was financed using $250 million of public bond
s, which were issued by the Memphis Public Building Authority (PBA).
FedExForum was designed by architectural firm Ellerbe Becket
. Concrete work done with the help of Dowco Construction and Apac. The arena
is 805,850 ft² (75,000 m²) in size, covering 14 acre
s (57,000 m²). The Arena is round, with a dome. The playing floor is lower than ground level. It is capable of seating 18,119
for basketball and has 1,000 premiere courtside seats. There are 27 courtside suites, 32 club suites, 4 party suites, and 80 club boxes. It also contains a full-sized practice basketball court, visible from the huge lobby. The plans called for a mass transit bus depot, which brought a federal grant of $6 million, but the depot was changed to a premium parking garage, and Memphis had to return the money.
FedExForum's interior was designed to pay tribute to Memphis' musical heritage, with paintings and murals depicting some of the city's most famous artists including Justin Timberlake
, Elvis Presley
, and B.B. King
. Most of the Arena's restaurants are named in conjunction with FedExForum's overall theme of music with Opus Restaurant and the Blue Note Lounge. The two other restaurants are sponsor-driven with the Lexus Lounge just off the Arena Floor and Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 in the Grand Lobby of the Arena.
FedExForum was the first arena to utilize new "see-through" shot clock
units which allow spectators seated behind the basket to see the action without having the clocks interfere with their view. The idea came when a fan of the NBA's New Jersey Nets
who sat behind the basket at Continental Airlines Arena
sent an e-mail to NBA Commissioner David Stern
, asking for technology to improve his view, and Daktronics
obliged with the innovation at FedExForum in 2004. The NBA approved the unit a year later for full use and has seen the new units installed at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center
, Spectrum Center
, TD Garden
, Moda Center
, Capital One Arena
, State Farm Arena
, and Staples Center
after the approval. As of the 2011–12 NBA season
every NBA arena had implemented the transparent shot clocks, with Pepsi Center
, The Palace of Auburn Hills
, Oracle Arena
, Target Center
, and Sleep Train Arena
being the last NBA arenas to install the clocks.
On February 23, 2008, FedExForum hosted the college basketball
game featuring the No. 1 ranked Memphis Tigers
vs. the No. 2 ranked Tennessee Volunteers
. The facility also hosted the Conference USA
men's basketball tournament from 2005 to 2009. It was the site of the South regional semifinals and finals in the 2009
, and 2017
editions of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
. FedExForum was one of the four regional finals in the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament
On March 12–15, 2014, the American Athletic Conference
hosted their inaugural tournament at the FedExForum. It will host the tournament again in 2019.
On September 21, 2006, the Nashville Predators
and the Columbus Blue Jackets
played a NHL
preseason game at FedExForum, the first ice hockey
game ever held at the arena. The Predators handled the Blue Jackets easily, 8-1.
Boxing, WWE & MMA
On September 25, 2004, FedExForum hosted the Glen Johnson
vs Roy Jones Jr.
for the IBF
Light heavyweight title. Johnson won the fight with a 9th-round knockout.
FedExForum has hosted three major professional wrestling
events. In 2007, World Wrestling Entertainment
took place on September 16, (headlined by The Undertaker
and Mark Henry
), and the PMG Clash of Legends
independent show on April 27, featuring Hulk Hogan
versus Paul Wight
. In 2015, it hosted WWE Fastlane
on February 22. The first of five WWE house show
s took place on September 19, 2004, shortly after the venue opened. It has hosted seven episodes of ''WWE Raw
'' and four of ''WWE SmackDown
''. One notable instance of WWE at the arena was when Daniel Bryan
"occupied" Raw with hundreds of his fans inside the ring and surrounding the ringside area on March 10, 2014.
On December 12, 2009, FedExForum hosted an Ultimate Fighting Championship
lightweight title fight, UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez
In August 2010, the Professional Bull Riders
' Built Ford Tough Series
tour made their first appearance at FedExForum.
On August 4, 2010, FedExForum held the memorial service to Memphis native Lorenzen Wright
, a Memphis Tigers alum and former Memphis Grizzlies player.
The Church of God in Christ
, Inc. (COGIC) is a Christian organization in the Holiness-Pentecostal tradition. It is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States held there annual Convocation at the FedExForum from 2004 to 2007.
The arena hosted Monster Jam
for a few years, then in 2019 hosted Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live.
In order to keep the Grizzlies in Memphis, the City of Memphis has completed normal renovations to FedExForum to keep it up to NBA standards. In 2012, the arena's sound system was replaced and the main basketball court was replaced for the Grizzlies for $200,000, with the Tigers' court being replaced the following year. Three years later, FedExForum completed a renovation for the backstage areas, including a new state-of-the-art video room, a renovation of the coaches' offices, and office space for FedExForum employees. In 2017, the Grizzlies announced a $1.8 million renovation to the arena,
which includes a brand new HD scoreboard four times the size of the former, new HD displays, new LED Lighting, and other additional fan amenities, which were completed in time for the beginning of the 2017-2018 NBA Season.
* List of NCAA Division I basketball arenas
* List of NBA Arenas
Official FedExForum websiteOfficial Memphis Grizzlies websiteOfficial University of Memphis Tigers website
Category:National Basketball Association venues
Category:College basketball venues in the United States
Category:Basketball venues in Tennessee
Category:Sports venues completed in 2004
Category:Memphis Tigers basketball venues
Category:Memphis Grizzlies venues
Category:Professional wrestling venues in Tennessee
Category:Sports venues in Memphis, Tennessee
Category:Historic district contributing properties in Tennessee
Category:National Register of Historic Places in Memphis, Tennessee
Category:Sports venues on the National Register of Historic Places in Tennessee
Category:2004 establishments in Tennessee
Category:Music venues in Tennessee
Category:Indoor arenas in Tennessee