MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Friday is one of the most important games in Memphis Tigers football history, a game you can watch on Local 24.
The Black Friday top-20 clash at the Liberty Bowl against Cincinnati has plenty of implications on the line, and Memphis athletic leaders are hopeful fans turn out in a last-minute ticket push to make the stadium two-thirds full.
Tigers football fans for decades also anxiously await the chance for Memphis football’s first 11-win season, a conference championship, and major bowl berth – all still on the table Thanksgiving Day.
Outside the Liberty Bowl Thursday, the first tailgating tents are up, as Tigers fans secured their spots one day before a monumental matchup at home against Cincinnati.
“It’s a lot of stake,” Danny Forrester said.
Forester would know; he’s attended Tigers football games for 50 years.
“This is even bigger than the game we beat (Tennessee),” Forrester said.
A Tigers win would clinch Memphis hosting the AAC championship next Saturday. This week, U of M leaders made a big ticket push online and through social media.
“This game being on national television helps us send us message about who we are and what our brand is here at the University of Memphis,” Memphis Deputy Athletic Director Jeff Crane said.
Crane said the Cincinnati game does not feature a ‘901 flash sale’ – the $9.01 ticket price which helped sellout the November 2nd game against SMU. Instead, Memphis leaders offered football fans a free ticket Friday if they put down a $50 deposit for a 2020 season ticket.
“We use games like this to help drive future attendance and future sales,” Crane said.
Still, Crane is hopeful for a sizable walkup crowd Black Friday to ensure Memphis leaders meet their unofficial attendance goal.
“We would be ecstatic if we can get to that 40,000 number, because as we’ve seen, if we can get there, then the Liberty Bowl really starts to look and feel full,” Crane said.
If Memphis can draw 40,000 fans at the Liberty Bowl Friday, that would come pretty close to the average attendance so far this 2019 season.
If that figure holds, it would be the highest average attendance for Memphis Tigers football since 2015.