(Memphis) Some Memphis businesses say the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is scoring a major touchdown with its selections for this year’s game.
December 31st Mississippi State and Rice will play in the game.
In 2007 the Mississippi broke attendance records for the Liberty Bowl, and that’s great news for ticket sales, hotel occupancy, and business revenue.
“There’s a huge fan base here, there’s a lot of people here. It’s going to be a great crowd,” incoming president of the Memphis Maroon Club Hollis Hulett.
Hulett says Mississippi State is looking to break the Liberty Bowl attendance record again.
“This year is going to be our fourth year in a row to go to a bowl. It’s the first time ever we’ve been to a bowl four years in a row. So the fan base is gung-ho and ready to go,” said Hulett.
Memphis CVB President Kevin Kane says all those fans bring millions to the city.
“Businesses that want to close 2013 with a bang, the Liberty Bowl is a vehicle that helps people do that,” said Kane.
The day before the bowl game the Beale Street Merchants Association throws a parade and pep rally here on the street.
It says it sees a huge spike in business especially when there’s a local team playing like Mississippi State.
On a typical bowl game weekend Beale Street see three times the business it would on a normal day.
Rice may be located further away in Texas, but bowl officials say don’t count them out.
The owls are nothing to hoot at when it comes to filling stadiums.
“I think they’re going to surprise people. Rice is trying to become a school much like Stanford and Duke. Highly academic institutions that play at high level of excellence on the athletic fields as well. So it looks like a great match up,” said AutoZone Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart.
Bowl officials say tickets will go fast, so if you’re local and you want to go to the game you better snatch up your tickets sooner rather than later.