Downtown Memphis Will Be Cold, Busy On Saturday

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(Memphis) Downtown Memphis will host two basketball games - the Tigers and the Grizzlies - Saturday, so the FedEx Forum will be packed with fans, while the streets of downtown Memphis will be filled with 20,000 people participating in the St. Jude Marathon.

It seems like a perfect storm for problems: a triple header with potential ice on the roads.

But the City and event planners believe everything will go off without a hitch.

This might sum it up best:

“Plan ahead,” said Eric Granger, the vice present of operations at the FedEx Forum. “We have a doubleheader Memphis Tigers at noon and the Grizzlies at 7 p.m. and of course 20,000 runners coming downtown for St. Jude Marathon.”

All that while City tries to tackle possible ice on the roadways.

Lots of rain is expected Friday, so brine would just wash away.

“According to the National Weather Service, we expect to get an inch of rain proceeding this event, the snow and ice event, so brine would basically be diluted and just a waste of material and time,” said Robert Knecht with the City of Memphis Department of Public Works.

Knecht says when the rain stops, sometime Friday night, City crews will be getting salt and sand on slippery areas.

“Your best defense is to not be out, avoid traveling,”

But with thousands coming downtown, you should know that Fourth Street between Beale and Madison will be closed until 3 p.m., Union Avenue between Third and Danny Thomas closed at 7 a.m. and the best street to take to the FedEx is Martin Luther King.

Even though a lot is going on because of the race and basketball, organizers believe all three sporting events will go smoothly.

“If you plan ahead, the doors open at 11 a.m., the race starts at 7:15 a.m.,” said Granger. “The timing should work just perfect for us.”

For more info on parking and road closures, go to