Performance venue could be coming to Graceland

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Elvis Week may be over, but there are more big plans in the works for Graceland.

Officials are looking to expand and add a theater events center to the property by early 2019. It would bring more jobs to Whitehaven, along with more tourists.

George Harrison says he's watched Graceland take off in his 10 years of living here.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing and what he has done is unbelievable," said Harrison.

Every year, he shows mesmerized family members all the new changes.

“It’s completely different over there," said Dan Gauthier from Michigan. "It’s wonderful, it’s so much roomier in what they’ve done.”

And now there’s another big $40-$50 million project on the table.

Officials are looking at building a theater events center that would hold 6,000 to 7,000 seats, and go next to the new Graceland Soundstage.

They say it’d be a happy medium between the Orpheum and Fedex Forum.

“Too many times, we see events that are in Nashville and Little Rock that are skipping Memphis, but with putting this kind of intermediate theater in place, we think we can attract events to Memphis it otherwise misses," said Jay Campbell, attorney for Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Attorney Campbell says the theater would attract concerts, basketball events, church events and graduation ceremonies.

“It’s just a lot of history and you feel it when you’re here, so that would be awesome," said Erica Inemer who was visiting from Dallas.

Graceland officials are asking city council to change their TIF increment from 50 percent to 65 percent to help fund the project. A TIF is a zone that benefits from property taxes.

“It’ll bring a lot of people to this," said Harrison. "This is a big joint. This is the playing card for Memphis right here.”

Graceland officials also say the theater would create another 150 jobs. They like to fill those positions with surrounding community members in Whitehaven.

Officials say they’d also have a fee on some of the theater tickets that would be donated to Memphis’s Economic Development Growth Engine, or EDGE.

They’re going to speak more with EDGE about the expansion and then return to City Council with more information so they can vote on increasing the TIF.