MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - We’re getting closer and closer to December 31st, the 60th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl between Oklahoma State and Missouri.
This is a special year for the bowl game and for one coach, Memphis is a special place.
The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is celebrating its 60th year with a customized logo.
There are also commemorative tickets showcasing famous participants in the game like Mississippi State Quarterback Dak Prescott, Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning and legendary Syracuse running back Ernie Davis, among others.
“This is a super exciting year for these two teams coming here for our 60th anniversary game,” said Steve Ehrhart, executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. “The 7th oldest bowl game in America!”
Ehrhart says the bowl game brings in an estimated economic benefit of $25 million with thousands of fans this year coming from relatively close schools Missouri and Oklahoma State.
“You get thousands of people coming to town, and they stay for an average of three to four days,” Ehrhart said. “They’re spending money on their hotels, their food and that kind of thing. So that’s why so many other cities are pounding to get bowl games.”
For Missouri’s head coach Barry Odom, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is a homecoming of sorts. From 2012 to 2014, Odom coached at the University of Memphis as defensive coordinator.
“Such great memories from when I lived here and worked here at the university, and great people,” Odom said.
Odom hopes his return to the Bluff City ends with him hoisting the AutoZone Liberty Bowl trophy.