City of Memphis wins, with Liberty Bowl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City of Memphis wins, with Liberty Bowl

Liberty Bowl organizers say every year the big game draws thousands of fans to Memphis. Liberty Bowl organizers say every year the big game draws thousands of fans to Memphis.
Iowa fans Carolyn and Randy Weir are just two of the visitors to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl. Iowa fans Carolyn and Randy Weir are just two of the visitors to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl.
Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart says most of the hotel rooms have already been bought up by fans. Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart says most of the hotel rooms have already been bought up by fans.

(WMC-TV) – The entryway at the Liberty Bowl is already full of anxious tailgaters who have staked out their party areas.

By the time fans pack into the stadium to see Iowa State and Tulsa Monday afternoon, more than $20 million tourist dollars will have been spent in Memphis.   

On the Sunday before the game, the stadium filled up with fans who stopped by to take pictures of the facility.

They talked about the amount of money they plan to spend before and after the game.

"We just decided we were going to come, bought tickets and drove down here," said Iowa fans Carolyn and Randy Weir.  "We'll have a hotel for three nights and whatever it takes to eat for those three days," they added.

Liberty Bowl organizers say every year the big game draws thousands of fans to Memphis.  While here, they eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores and stay at local hotels.

So by the time the teams take the field here at the Liberty Bowl, a lot of tourist dollars will have already been spent here in the Bluff City.

Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart says most of the hotel rooms have already been bought up by fans.

"It's a great economic impact.  Right now we got about $25 million coming into the community," Ehrhart said.

If you go to places like Graceland and the Memphis Zoo, you'll see Liberty Bowl fans buying most of the tickets.  Organizers say just how much fans enjoy the Liberty Bowl, could have a long term impact on tourism in this city.

"What we found is that these people who enjoy the Liberty Bowl in December, if they have a good time, they come back in the summer time and visit," Ehrhart explained.

So no matter which team wins the game, the Liberty Bowl will be a win for the city.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

SLIDESHOW

Updated:

Iowa State, Tulsa fans hit the Liberty Bowl - see the slideshow here. Send your photos to my5@wmctv.com! More>>

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