Downtown Memphis booms during May's events - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Downtown Memphis booms during May's events

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Monday's Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals was another big night in what has been a watermark kind of month in Memphis.

Just this weekend the city hosted the Memphis In May Sunset Symphony, an air show over the Mississippi River, a four-game series between the Redbirds and Round Rock Express, Sir Paul McCartney performed at the FedExForum Sunday, and Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

Many of the businesses in downtown still believe. The spotlight has been on Memphis the entire month of May and thousands of people have been taking advantage of everything the city has to offer.

Downtown has been packed the entire month of May. Huge crowds showed believing in the Grizzlies' playoff run.

Memphis in May was a hit from a muddy and cool Beale Street Music Festival to a smokey and fairly warm BBQ completion along Tom Lee Park.

"It's fun, it's vibrant, it's a good time."

The weather has been great and there's lots going on. Visitors to the downtown district said it's a great time to be in Memphis.

"I bring my family down here all the time, but especially this time of year."

The crowds are boosting local businesses.

"It's fantastic, it couldn't be better," said Patrick Reilly of the Majestic Grille. "There's such a vibrancy downtown now. It's just, it's really, really awesome."

A strong spring is making up for a slow start to the year for some downtown businesses. The staff at the Majestic Grille on Main Street near Peabody got ready for another busy night before Game 4.

Every Grizzlies playoff game brings customers, and more.  
"What it brings is just a sense of pride, civic pride and it brings people out," Reilly said. "It just, it makes people want to have fun and that's good for the restaurant business."

The NBA Western Conference Finals between the Grizzlies and the Spurs expose the city to people around the country.

"The shots of Downtown Memphis during the national broadcast of the basketball (games) have really meant a lot for our city's brand," said Paul Morris, President of the Downtown Memphis Commission
More than 23,000 people live in Downtown Memphis and more than 50,000 work downtown, Morris said.

A month like this is bringing attention to what's working in the city, maybe even creating some more believers.

Without a doubt, Morris said this has been a great month for the Bluff City.

"With the NBA playing, that's obviously huge for Memphis' brand and for downtown in particular with the Redbirds, and the Memphis In May, the Sunset Symphony," he said. "I mean, Sir Paul a Beatle coming to Downtown Memphis; with all the people that come here, more and more people are seeing and hearing the good things going on in downtown. They're forgetting the version of downtown that existed in the 1970s and 1980s where it was dead and people were scared to come down here.

"Well, people are now living down here and more and more people are understanding that this is a phenomenal place to be," Morris added. "It's a lot of fun and it's really what our city is about. Our city was born in downtown and it's our future as well."

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