Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Skating Toward A Better Mud Island

Skateboarding Memphians Kris Gurley wrote this guest post:

I would like to talk to you today about part of our city that I (and many others) think has tremendous potential for our city: Mud Island.

How many times do you go to Mud Island? 3-4 times a year? No? Once a year maybe?

If you are like most Memphians, then you have gone once and that was enough for you. You may go back when friends and family come to town and they haven't been but that's about it. It's just not a place that encourages repeat visits. Even the Amphitheater is lacking in shows that would draw people to the island.

Thinking Big

How would you feel if we could get carloads of Memphians (and many more from around the country) to come to Mud Island each and every week? What if we could build a world-class attraction with minimal cost and maximum impact? Do you want to know what it would be?

A world-class skate park on the island!

This is not as far out there as you may think. Six years ago Louisville did this very thing and it was a rousing success. Last year San Jose one-upped Louisville by opening the largest park in the US (65,000 sq. ft) and attracted families from all over the world.

Major skate parks can be compared to ski resorts in that they are treated as destinations spots for participants from all over the globe. Here’s a news clip on the San Jose park.

#3 With A Bullet

Skateboarding has quietly crept up to become the third most popular activity in America over the last few years. More of America's youth skateboard than play baseball now and they do it with far fewer facilities than any of the other top five sports. In Memphis, baseball parks outnumber skate parks 48 - 0. And yet, skateboarders far outnumber little league and casual ball players. There are skateboarders in every area of this city and from every type of background. These thousands of skateboarders in the city need a safe, economical and family-friendly place for their pastime and Mud Island provides an ideal location.

With the amenities already present, the addition of a skate park would draw families from all over, but it doesn't have to stop there. With the planned renovation of the whole Mud island complex, we could easily add other attractions like a splash park, bike trails with bike rentals, a rock wall, indoor and outdoor fitness areas, even a dog park or a disc golf course to truly make it a destination that everyone can enjoy and enjoy safely. With controlled, limited access and the security presence on the island, you and your family can recreate in safety and security.

The cost of a world-class skate park is minimal. A mere $3 million and we would have the largest skate park in the nation (80,000 sq. ft.). Compare that to the $40 million it would take to renovate the Liberty bowl or the $250 Million that it cost for the FedEx Forum and the value is astounding. A facility of this class would be a global draw and pump needed dollars into our tourist economy.

A Mud Island Magnet

You cannot underestimate the draw of a park like this. Many skateboarders from Memphis have driven up to eight hours just to go to skate parks in cities like Dallas, Jacksonville, Houston, Louisville, Nashville and Little Rock. Lager parks like those in Denver, San Jose and Louisville attract skateboarders from all over the globe. People from those cities and countries would now come to Memphis for a world-class skate park experience.

This type of facility wouldn't just draw tourist; it would draw national televised events. Sports tours and competitions rake in high ratings on ESPN and ABC. Demos, concerts and festivals would have an ideal setting. Memphis has a rare gift in Mud Island and it's time we got it in the national spotlight.

So for the benefit of our citizens, our economy and our national image, I urge all of you to come out to the Mud Island Master Plan meetings and let the Riverfront Development Corporation know that you want to see this project put Memphis on the world stage while simultaneously filling a huge void for our youth.

Meeting Times

1.Downtown Meeting
Monday March 23rd from 5:45 - 7:15 pm
Location:MIRP Harbor Landing, 101 Island Drive (gate security will give
directions) Basically drive to Mud Island and go through the security gates. It's
on Mud Island.

2.Meeting at Memphis Botanical Gardens meeting
Thursday April 2nd from 5:45 - 7:15 pm
Location: Memphis Botanic Gardens, 750 Cherry Road (near Audubon Park)

For more information, please visit Skate Life Memphis.

Also, please take a few minutes to complete the RDC survey and let them know how you feel about the skate park on Mud Island.

on this page: (make sure you use the "other" and "Comments" section to let them know how you feel about the Skate park)


Zippy the giver said...

Rock ON, brilliant!

sherman said...

no brainer.

victor said...

thanks for this really intresting

The only Satellite Television Delivers the Best Value in Entertainment

Cialis Online said...