MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Beale Street business owners are expecting huge crowds Saturday morning. Many are opening back up before the sun comes up, literally just hours after they closed.
While ESPN GameDay crews prepped for the big day, the owner of Lew’s Blue Note on Beale did too. He’s planning on serving a breakfast buffet at 5 am Saturday morning.
“It’s going to be cold, but it’s not raining, so it’s going to be a lot – a lot – of people and I’m gonna be ready,” said Winston.
“Three hours of national television shots of the city, shots of Beale Street, Memphis crowds, Memphis, Memphis, Memphis put a price tag on that it’s worth millions,” said Kevin Kane with Memphis Tourism.
Kane says the city and university get a two-fer out of GameDay coming to town and broadcasting from Beale. First, it puts Memphis football on a national stage, and second the city of Memphis and Beale Street get media exposure as well.
“I have always said what’s good for Memphis is good for the university and what is good for the University of Memphis is good for Memphis,” said Kane.
Kane added, “It’s three hours of national exposure of a sports stage with Memphis as the backdrop. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Kane says it’s just the beginning. After GameDay, the Tigers get more national exposure for the actual game. Kane says the exposure will lead to more people visiting Memphis and Beale Street.
As for Winston, not only is he ready for the big crowd, he’s ready for the show.
“I’m not going home. I’m gonna sit and watch,” said Winston.