Officials break ground on "Tiger Lane" greenway project

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Ole Miss has The Grove, and Memphis will soon have Tiger Lane.

In 97 days, a construction project at the fairgrounds will form a lush greenway that is part of a bigger initiative in Memphis to 'go green.'

Tiger Lane will be put to quick use. This fall, the University of Memphis football team will parade through the greenway on their way to games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

U of M Athletic Director R. C. Johnson said the area could improve the school's bowl chances.

"Television sets football programs and facilities," Johnson said. "That's what gets you into a BCS conference. We've just knocked off one more of those things on the way to getting there."

Tiger Lane is part of a multi-million dollar project to re-vamp the fairgrounds area. One of the key tenants will be the Salvation Army, and its soon-to-be-built 100,000 square foot facility.

"It will have an endowment so that we can focus in on the people and the program and not necessarily on the business," said Major Mark Woodcock of the Salvation Army.

To stress the area's "going green" initiatives, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and other city officials arrived at the Tiger Lane announcement on a city bus.

"This is a great day," Wharton said. "They call it Tiger Lane, but I see it more as a bridge."

Officials said renovating the fairgrounds will do everything from creating jobs to bringing the community together.

"It's located right in the heart of our city," Wharton said. "What better place than to symbolize that this is a city once known for its decisiveness...this is a city now know of the steps its taken to bring its people together."

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