Opened With A Splash

November 10, 1991

Quick, who opened The Pyramid?

Right, The Judds, the mother-daughter country act.

The $65 million arena opened to generally positive reviews from many of the 15,000 attendees. But there was that one little plumbing problem that soaked a lot of shoes and drew a headline writer's snark.


Wynonna (left) and Naomi Judd opened The Pyramid as part of their farewell tour on Nov. 9, 1991. The city's newest landmark drew more than 15,000 people for the debut of the $65 million facility. Near the end of the warm-up performance by Billy Dean, water spewed through the floor drains of restrooms, flooding the east side of the arena level. Water aside, visitors said they enjoyed their visit to The Pyramid.(Michael McMullan/The Commercial Appeal)

The Pyramid, standing tall as one of the community's most praised and criticized projects, drew more than 15,000, including Kari Henderson, of Raleigh, to see The Judds on opening night Nov. 9, 1991. The only major opening night flaw was a plumbing problem that shut some restrooms and leaked water onto the arena floor. "We opened with a splash, " joked Jerry MacDonald at the time. MacDonald was chief operating officer of the firm hired to manage the facility. The $65 million facility drew high marks when it opened in 1991, but was shuttered for all practical purposes just 13 years later. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band performed what was billed as the building's farewell concert in 2007.(Michael McMullan/The Commercial Appeal)

Sissy's Log Cabin
Sissy's Log Cabin