MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For 32 years, the Southern Heritage Classic has brought continuous smiles to Memphis.
“You’re always going to see smiles at the heritage classic,” Jones said.
Southern Heritage Classic founder Fred Jones Jr. says now for the 33rd year, they’re expecting 45,000 people to show up and support their favorite teams.
Jones said the rivalry between the two schools continued to grow. That’s when he says the idea to bring the big game to Memphis hit him.
“We were able to create a vehicle to keep this rivalry together presented in a way fans would want to come every year,” Jones said.
After a few months of planning, the Southern Heritage Classic was born in 1990.
“You can have these ideas and dreams, but somebody has to buy into it. Memphis bought into it,” Jones said.
The first classic kicked off in 1990, and since then both teams have gone head to head against each other 28 times. Tennessee State University leads the series 17-11.
“Hey Fred, I’m ready for the classic, what’s happening with the classic, we’re doing something with the family, friends, co-workers. It makes you feel really good that you created something that special,” Jones said.
The classic is expected to bring in about $25 million dollars from different events throughout the week.
Outside of the money, it’s the community impact that Jones says makes it all worth it.
“All of our efforts are on this year and for this to be the best it can be,” Jones said.
The classic will be held Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. Tickets range from $23 to $53 and can be purchased by phone by calling 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.
The big game day will begin at 8 a.m. with some good ole tailgating at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium parking lots and Tiger Lane. For tailgating information call 901-729-4344.