BancorpSouth Center Renamed BancorpSouth Arena; BancorpSouth Conference Center Opens

Tupelo, Mississippi, Coliseum Commission (TCC) officials announced yesterday the renaming of the BancorpSouth Center to the BancorpSouth Arena. Together with the city of Tupelo's Redevelopment Authority (TRA), Master Hospitality, and BancorpSouth Bank, TCC also announced the opening of the new BancorpSouth Conference Center.

The BancorpSouth Arena is a 10,000 seat, multiuse facility operated by TCC at 375 E. Main Street, in Tupelo, Miss. The BancorpSouth Conference Center is a new 10,000 square-foot event venue offering a range of configurations to accommodate a variety of corporate and social events. It is leased and operated by Master Hospitality of Memphis, Tenn. The new conference center is located at 387 East Main Street and is adjacent to the new Hilton Garden Inn, which recently opened in the city's Fairpark District.

BancorpSouth Bank is a subsidiary of BancorpSouth, Inc. , a financial holding company operating in seven southeastern states with headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi. BancorpSouth entered into a naming rights agreement in 1999 with TCC whereby BancorpSouth retained the naming rights to the coliseum and the future conference center for a specified period and in consideration of a financial investment over the term of the agreement.

TCC Chairman Len Pegues said, "The TCC has been able to achieve much through our relationship with BancorpSouth and are very enthusiastic about our continuing agreement with the renaming of the BancorpSouth Arena. The addition of the new state-of-the-art facility, BancorpSouth Conference Center shows the synergy that will be provided by all working together. We would like to offer a sincere thank-you to Aubrey Patterson and Tom Ricketts for making this possible."

Aubrey Patterson, BancorpSouth chairman and CEO, said, "BancorpSouth is pleased to have served as the corporate naming sponsor since 1999 providing an additional financial investment to help support this fine facility and its service to Tupelo and the surrounding area. We are especially pleased to continue our partnership as the BancorpSouth Center now becomes the BancorpSouth Arena and this beautiful new conference center opens as the BancorpSouth Conference Center."

Tom Ricketts, president of Master Hospitality and owner of the new Hilton Garden Inn which will operate the conference center added, "BancorpSouth has a long tradition of service to the community, and this conference center is a natural extension of their commitment to the region. We are honored to have been selected as the cornerstone for downtown re-development. The opening of the two new buildings can only be good for Tupelo as we work to attract new meetings, conferences and tourists to Tupelo. Clearly, the future is bright as we watch the continued growth of the Fairpark District."

"We appreciate the support of BancorpSouth and Master Hospitality in bringing our new Conference Center into being. This is a great day in the city of Tupelo. The Fairpark District is growing dramatically and anchors the entire downtown," said Tupelo Mayor Ed Neely.

The BancorpSouth Arena also has a new Web site address with an exciting new look which coincides with the renaming. It is

SOURCE: BancorpSouth, Inc.

CONTACT: Kevan Kirkpatrick, +1-662-841-6573