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In an opinion issued Thursday, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Elvis Presley Enterprises against the city, county and the Memphis
Grizzlies.

The 2018 complaint was amid a fight over whether tax incentives could be used to help fund the construction of a 6,200-seat arena on Graceland's property in Whitehaven.

A tax incentive was approved in 2014 to help build the Guesthouse at Graceland, a 450-room hotel along with convention, theater, concert and museum facilities. Problems arose
in 2017 when Elvis Presley Enterprises went before the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis and Shelby County to amend the incentive to allow for the
addition of the arena.

Questions arose over whether the request would violate the terms of an agreement between city and county governments and the Grizzlies that said the city and county would not
"design, develop, construct or otherwise fund, provide economic or tax benefits or incentives to" any facility that would compete with the FedExForum, the opinion said.

The agreement prohibits indoor or covered facilities between 5,000 and 50,000 seats that could compete with the FedExForum for the booking of any event..

Elvis Presley Enterprises initially accused the Grizzlies of intentional interference with its business relations but later dropped that claim. EDGE approved the request to amend the
incentive to include the arena with the condition that the dispute over the arena be settled either through the courts or privately.

Shelby County Chancery Court Judge Jim Kyle ruled in February 2018 that the case should be dismissed because the judicial system is not the appropriate venue.
Elvis Presley Enterprises "has a legislative and government issue but seeks a judicial solution ... ," Kyle said in 2018. "In essence, the underlying issue is one of tax divergence,
which is a matter for the legislative branch of government in cooperation with the executive branch of government."

Kyle went on to say that EDGE would need to formally deny Elvis Presley Enterprises' request and city and county government officials would deny an appeal before the courts
could take up the matter.

"For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the order of the trial court," Judge Kenny Armstrong with the Tennessee Court of Appeals wrote in the opinion.

While the agreement prohibits the use of tax dollars to cut the cost of building the arena, it does not prohibit Elvis Presley Enterprises from building the arena without public
incentives.

Originating Source - Commercial Appeal

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APPEAL COURT UPHOLDS DISMISSAL OF GRACELAND LAWSUIT