Memphis Cook Convention Center

Project Overview


The Memphis Convention Center is being re-imagined as the facility undergoes an important expansion and upgrade with modern enhancements. The dramatic renovation of the convention center over the next 24 months will make Memphis competitive in the meetings and conventions market, while complementing our already strong leisure market segment.


The $175 million-dollar project is more than an expansion and renovation. It’s a transformation of the building’s interior and exterior, the upgrade will keep Memphis on the map for meetings and conventions. Every square inch of the convention center will be touched by this project, bringing high end finishes and amenities that are not only desired by meeting planners and their delegates, but necessary to compete for bookings and business.

Exhibition Hall, with 118,000 square feet of column free space that includes pre-function areas on the west and south side.

Through an extraordinary effort of long range planning with meeting planners and groups that utilize space in the building annually, the Memphis Convention Center will continue to host events and open for business during the renovation timetable. Completed by Fall 2020, this game changing project for the tourism industry will be paid for by out of town visitors through the hotel/motel tax and Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) funds.

Standard upgraded meeting room with increased ceiling height from 8ft to 18ft.

Vision for the Future Convention Center


Inspired by our community’s deep music heritage and recent trends in readapting existing assets, such as Crosstown Concourse, LRK of Memphis partnered with tvsdesign to develop plans for a facility that meet the needs of Memphis and meeting planners. Their vision will allow for additional meeting rooms and expand the footprint of the building with outdoor terraces and glass enclosed concourses, prefunction and meetings spaces that embrace the river and skyline views, while adding valuable square footage and amenities. This partnership has allowed us to reimagine the facility into a modern building with amenities that are expected within convention centers today, resulting in:

•  Large-scale event space and amenities that entice people from across the globe to continue to choose Memphis as the venue for
    their visitors and dollars.

•  Artistic nods to our community’s cultural roots and world-renowned reputation for soul and rock ‘n roll music.

•  Natural light seeping through the entire interior of the building, thanks to new floor-to- ceiling windows on every level.

•  Direct views of the Mississippi River and the Memphis Bridge to the west, Bass Pro Shops Pyramid to the north, and our
    downtown skyline to the south.

•  Updated and enclosed access to Sheraton Hotel to the north.

•  Easy foot and trolley access to restaurants, hotels, shops, entertainment venues and businesses throughout the Pinch District,  
    Downtown Core and South Main District.



Our current convention center footprint is the ideal location. Upgrading the currently built environment will save millions of dollars. New construction is cost-prohibitive, as concluded in feasibility studies in both 2010 and 2012. In this scenario of reinvigorating existing built structures and saving millions of dollars, the Memphis Convention Center is attaining project funding through:

• Visitors/Tourism: Visitors to Memphis who stay in hotels and motels will pay an additional 1.8% on their final lodging bill.

• Tourism Development Zone Funds: TDZ designation has already been approved or the neighborhood in which the convention center sits.


Level 2 Terrace - With views of the Wolf River Basin, Hernando Desoto Bridge, and Bass Pro Shop.

To make the current structure modern and competitive, the total project will cost $175 million. Conversely, a new convention facility would approach $500 million in costs, an expenditure that would be hard to justify, given the location and footprint of the existing convention center.

INT 16_EAST MR.jpg

The East Meeting Room is cantilivered over Main Street, with sweeping views of downtown.

The Memphis Meeting Planners Advisory Board, led by Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau Board Chairman Lani Glancy, played a pivotal role in identifying the necessary improvements that are critical to the future and success of the facility. Equally important in making all of this a reality is the leadership of Wayne Tabor and the Board of Commissioners of the Memphis Cook Convention Center, together they have helped define a bright new future for this important facility.

New P1 Entrance creating a sense of arrival, leading to the lower level lobby.

Through careful planning, the convention center and Cannon Center will both remain open and continue to host events throughout the construction project.

INT 6_L1 ENTRY.jpg

Level 1 Entry Lobby

© 2018 by MFA - a joint venture