TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Kate Prince on Jul 28, 2020

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear one part of Graceland’s appeal of a December 2019 ruling upholding the dismissal of its case against the City of Memphis, the Daily Memphian reports. Graceland is arguing that it should be allowed to seek public financing for a 6,200-seat arena in Whitehaven. Plans were announced for that arena in 2017, with the first phase including a tax increment financing incentive involving the use of property taxes and approved by the Economic Development Growth Engine board. But, the part of the Memphis Grizzlies organization that operates the FedEx Forum objected to that financing, arguing it violated a noncompete clause they have with Memphis and Shelby County. Specifically, that clause forbids local government from providing economic or tax incentives to any new indoor arena with seating capacity of more than 5,000 or fewer than 50,000. Graceland has since filed two lawsuits that were both dismissed for lack of standing. The appeals court upheld the dismissal and that dismissal is what will go before the Supreme Court. A date for oral arguments has not yet been set.