Bass Pro wants huge sign on Pyramid

Bass Pro Shops wants to place 66-by-90-foot internally illuminated signs on the Pyramid. (Rendering courtesy of Bass Pro Shops)

By Wayne Risher

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Posted February 25, 2013 at 12:43 p.m., updated February 25, 2013 at 11:21 p.m.

Bass Pro Shops wants eye-popping oval logo signs 90-foot-wide by 66-foot-high on each face of the 32-story Pyramid.

Looming along the Interstate 40 gateway into Memphis, the big signs featuring a jumping largemouth bass logo would likely draw motorists’ attention from the other smaller outdoor billboards long in place and signs atop the office towers lining the Downtown riverfront.

“Wow,” said architect Chooch Pickard upon seeing drawings of the signs for the first time. He called them “inappropriate in Downtown Memphis along the river.”

“They’re big,” said Downtown Memphis Commission president Paul Morris, “and the proposed signage is backlit so they’ll glow, so you’ll be able to see it deep into Arkansas.”

Bass Pro Shops will seek approval March 6 for design details including building signs and numerous smaller, outdoor-themed treatments around the 47-acre campus. A destination retail attraction is the goal of a $191 million retrofit of the vacant, city-owned former sports and entertainment arena.

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