Southern Heritage founder wants more improvements to Liberty Bowl

Some 50 thousand fans are expected to fill the Liberty Bowl this weekend.

"We're going to be on FSN this year for the football game," says founder Fred Jones.  "That's big stuff," he adds.

And while founder Fred Jones considers the Southern Heritage Classic first-class,  he says the Liberty Bowl itself is anything but.

"The locker-rooms are probably the number one priority," says Jones.  "If you talk to the U of M, they'd probably tell you that," he adds.

We wanted to see if he was right.  The wear and tear on the home team side is clearly visible.

"The maintenance on it, for several years, didn't happen," says Jones.

City councilman Scott McCormick, who heads the Parks Committee, admits upkeep has been an issue in the past.  But he believes the Liberty Bowl has a lot of life left.

"The Liberty Bowl is a very viable stadium," says MCCormick.  "It does need some cosmetic work, which we've been doing," he adds.

McCormick says among the improvements that have already been made in the bathrooms.  Other improvements are on the way.  But those takes time, and more importantly, money.  McCormick says some $15 million will be spent when it's all said and done.  That's plenty for what are only a dozen or so events each year.

"All great events for the city," says McCormick.  "But we have to balance it with how much we invest with these events," he adds.

Event promoters consider it money well spent.

"We need to have a first-class facility," says Fred Jones.

The future of events like the Southern Heritage Classic could depend on it.