FedEx Forum will bleed Tiger blue for the sold-out Memphis Madness Thursday night.
By 5:00 p.m. Thursday University of Memphis Tigers fans can get the “Blue Carpet Experience” two hours before things get started. Organizers said there will be live music, former Tigers players signing autographs, and photo stations.
This year’s Memphis Madness will bring back the 3-point shooting and slam dunks contests, the scrimmage, and cheering fans to spotlight the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.
But this year is a little different.
“I think just with the excitement around Coach Penny Hardaway everything we’ve seen going on that’s making this one a little special,” said Steve Macy, the University of Memphis Senior Associate Athletic Director.
Macy said they are focused on making it top-notch. A sold-out crowd at FedEx Forum means about 18,000 people.
“It’s been so long since Memphis Madness has been a major event. The last couple years it’s been pretty muted. So, this being as big as it is, almost feels like a first-time event,” said Macy.
There have been rumors about big name musical guests. Macy kept his lips sealed and said while there will be fun special guests, the focus is on the two teams.
“But also, kind of the intrigue around it. What’s the team going to look like? The players seeing both the men’s and women’s teams I think it’s got everybody really, really excited,” said Macy.
“It’s going to be an exciting atmosphere. Just energy, energy, energy. I know that for sure,” said senior Brianna Porter, power forward for the women’s basketball team.
Porter caught Tigers fever when she was a high school senior at her first Memphis Madness game. Now she is excited to soak in her senior year and a sold-out FedEx Forum.
“There’s loyalty for those that have been there, and you know we get the chance to gain more fans,” said Porter.
Organizers have giveaways for fans who get to FedEx Forum early. They’re offering 2,000 free t-shirts and 10,000 phone cloth wipes.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Thursday. Memphis Madness gets started at 7:00 p.m. There will be parking at the attached garage for $10 on a first come first serve basis.
Macy said it will not be live streamed.