Close to 60K expected to pack Libert Bowl and Tiger Lane

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The countdown begins: we are just hours away from two nationally ranked Mid-South teams going head to head on the football field.

The University of Memphis will take on Ole Miss in the Liberty Bowl Saturday at 11 a.m.

Nearly 60,000 people are expected to pack the stadium, and even more just planning to tailgate.

Businesses around the Liberty Bowl are gearing up too.

Some are expecting to see at least triple the amount of people they see on a typical Saturday.

"Tomorrow is going to be great! It's going to be absolutely packed," said David Smith, co-owner of Hammer and Ale in Cooper Young.

He is planning for big crowds and is opening at 8 a.m. to accommodate.

Smith is also offering specials to get people to stay.

Other businesses like Celtic Crossing have a game plan too.

"As many people as we can have on staff as early as we possibly can," said bartender Allan Cresay.

Celtic Crossing expects the place to be packed, and to get a big boost in sales.

Maybe it's because the long lines of students we saw this week hoping to snag a ticket, or the tailgate tents that started going up early Friday morning.

"Busy, busy, busy all day. We will be able to handle it, but it's through force of will," said Cresay.

WREG called the Cooper Young Business Association to find out what kind of economic impact they're expecting, but they are out of the office today.

As of Friday evening, there were tickets left for $50.

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