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Garth Brooks, International Blues Challenge to boost Memphis economy

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Garth Brooks is bringing thousands of people to our city.

“We’re very excited about this," said Eric Granger, vice president of arena operations at FedEx Forum.

The Garth Brooks World Tour quickly grew from one show to four after tickets went on sale.

“It’s never happened before," said Granger.

An unprecedented demand for an artist that will benefit the rest of the city.

“You’ll see hotel rooms that’ll be full tonight, restaurants this weekend will be full," said Granger. "We’ll have folks come in from all states around us as well as flying in.”

Just a few steps away from the FedEx Forum, other musicians started fill Beale Street on Thursday for the International Blues Challenge.

“We are expecting the biggest activity on Beale Street that you will see all year," said Barbara Newman, president/CEO of the Blues Foundation.

She says with thousands of fans and hundreds of musicians, she expects the blues competition alone to bring six or seven million dollars to the city.

“They’re going to museums, they’re checking out shops, everything," said Newman.

Spending their money in a city with growing talent.

“It definitely says that Memphis is definitely one of the entertainment capitals of the world," said Ken Taylor with the Beale Street Merchants Association. "We have a rich history, which is authentic.”

Beale Street merchants say they’re ready for the foot traffic this weekend, as restaurants and bars have called in extra staffing.

“It’s already, just walking up the street right now, it’s electric outside," said Taylor. "You see all the bars are full and the live music that’s going on.”

FedEx forum wants anyone who’s coming downtown this weekend to plan for extra traffic and arrive early for the shows.