MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis leaders cut the bow on an early Christmas present for the youth of Memphis over the weekend, officially opening the new 227,000-square-foot Memphis Sports and Events Center at Liberty Park.

The building has room for 16 basketball courts, 32 volleyball courts, seating for nearly 2,500, VIP suites, and two multipurpose rooms. It’s everything necessary to bring major indoor sporting events, tournaments, and more to the Bluff City and Midtown.

“It really brings back the opportunity for Memphians young people and their families to have a place to go in the center of the city, Midtown, that is really focused on youth sports,” said Ashley Cash, director of Housing and Community Development.

Mayor Jim Strickland and Grizz cut the ribbon the new sports complex at Liberty Park.

At the grand opening Saturday, there were already games going on — boys basketball, indoor soccer, and girls volleyball.

“You have a lot of players that don’t really have a place to go to, kind of, build their skill, and for this facility to be built and for them to include volleyball is amazing,” said Bold Impact volleyball coach Nylah Lloyd. 

Teams meet at the opening of the new sports center at Liberty Park.

There is already a plan in place to build a new hotel, apartments, and restaurants near the complex.

“We hope that that can entice other developers to create developments across the street, down the street adjacent to this Liberty Park site,” Cash said.

The city believes the more people will bring more revenue.

Teams meet at the opening of the new sports center at Liberty Park.

“This whole Liberty Park complex is going to be something that is going to attract millions — a couple, three million people, when you put it all together,” said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of Memphis Tourism.

Memphis leaders and coaches also hope the facility can go a long way in giving the city’s youth something to do and a place to do it, cutting down on youth crime that is plaguing the city…

“It gives you something productive to do, to focus on,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “We have a lot of kids in Memphis who don’t have that and we see the result of some of that.”

The complex will host its first tournament on January 7 and 8.