MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Saturday is a big day for Tigers fans as the team kicks off it new season with a home game against Ole Miss.
They’re expecting big crowds, with some sections of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium already sold out. More than 40,000 tickets had been sold by Friday, officials said.
Tailgaters had already marked their territory Friday afternoon and planned to be there all night, as fans say there’s a different feel in the air.
“I just talked to one of my neighbors and he said, ‘Boy this is a big game.’ That’s all that anybody’s been talking about that I’ve been talking to.”
There’s a lot to cheer about this year. The nationally televised game is keeping the momentum and excitement of Memphis sports going strong.
David Merritt attended the university when it was Memphis State and is happy to see the positive outlook in Memphis and beyond.
“I never would’ve thought of Memphis as a football school, but absolutely,” Merritt said. “The last five or six years, Memphis has been a football school and continues to show that nationwide. We’re garnering the respect of sportscasters and other teams around the nation.”
That kind of boost is felt on the field, and not just by the players.
“A lot of the energy that the band has is sort of a give-and-take with what’s happening on the field,” said William Plenk, director of athletic bands. “What the band is doing and when all the things come together, those are the magical moments on game day and hopefully we have a lot of those this weekend.”
With a large crowd expected, everyone is hoping for a win and good time.
“It’s pretty exciting,” professor Carnell Mitchell said. “We’re going to beat them again on tomorrow. Weather is great. Things are great. We’re looking forward to it. I got my tickets.”
Kickoff is at 11, but you’re encouraged to arrive early to catch the band debut its new pre-game show.