Memphis businesses expecting $25M boost from AutoZone Liberty Bowl

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is, of course, decided on the field, but businesses are more excited for what happens off it.

From hotel stays to eating and shopping, an average Liberty Bowl makes Memphis somewhere between $25 million and $30 million.

"That's a real big number. I wish we could do that number by ourselves. That'd be great," Leo Allred says.

He runs Tater Red's on Beale Street. He doesn't make millions off the game but gets a nice boost in revenue every year.

"We were so busy yesterday I didn't have a chance to even look back, you know?" he says.

His shop was busy thanks to parade-goers who checked out his store before and after.

"The out-of-towners had a blast and we did too," Allred says.

The out-of-towners he's referencing are fans of this year's teams, which are Oklahoma State and Missouri. Both campuses are less than a day's drive from Memphis, making it easy for lots of people to come.

"It's been great. These fans for both areas they've been wonderful," Allred says.

There are two sets of out-of-town fans this year but there was only one last year when the hometown Tigers were in the game.

The extra tourism dollars could result in a bigger economic impact. The Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau says an average out of town group that comes to the game spends about $514 each day during its stay.

"That's a bonus to have two teams that like to travel," Allred says.

Allred expects a  lot of customers Monday night and a good amount Tuesday too.

"If you lose sometimes people get a little bit upset and they go home but I think, all and all, we'll have another good day," he says, "Beale Street always needs a nice boost like this. I wish we could do bowl games all year long."

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