Road closures, Beale Street business opening times announced ahead of Saturday’s College GameDay


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city of Memphis has released information on road closures ahead of this weekend’s ESPN College GameDay.

The show will be on Beale Street, not outside the Liberty Bowl, with the main stage at Beale Street and B.B. King Boulevard.

B.B. King Boulevard will be closed between Peabody Place and MLK Boulevard starting Wednesday, October 30, at midnight. All traffic will be diverted eastbound to Danny Thomas, city officials said.

Beale Street also tweeted out information on opening times for local businesses.

This will be an historic day for the city of Memphis and Tigers football program.  It’s the first time ESPN’s premier, No. 1-rated college football program has been to the Bluff City. The show is famous for Lee Corso’s picks and fan-made signs.

The Tigers are ranked No. 24, while their opponent SMU is No. 15. SMU is undefeated with an 8-0 record this season. The Tigers have a record of 7-1.

This game will have large implications on the West Division standings.

“I think that the country, when it hears about Memphis Tiger football, it thinks about success,” Tigers coach Mike Norvell said. “It thinks about an explosive football team with great players and, to have the opportunity to be in this light, to be in this game, it’s something we’re definitely proud of.”

U of M Athletic Director Laird Veatch said the university is coordinating with Beale Street businesses and bars to open early and get the party started. There should also be transportation between Beale and the Liberty Bowl. Those details will be announced later.

Veatch said ESPN made the call to host the show on Beale rather than Tiger Lane. He said there will be around 4,000 parking spots available starting at 5 am.

With an audience in the millions, it’s a showcase for the entire city, so it seems like every branch of the university and the city are working together to get this party right.

College GameDay airs 8-11 a.m. Saturday. The kickoff at the Liberty Bowl is set for 6:30.

Memphis is running a $9.01 flash sale on tickets to the Nov. 2 SMU game through Wednesday at 11:59 p.m., the university said in a release. To purchase tickets during the flash sale, fans must log on to and enter promo code GAMEDAY. There is a limit of eight tickets that can be purchased at this special 901 flash sale price.

The Memphis box office sold more than 1,000 tickets within an hour after the GameDay announcement became official.


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