Local tourism looks forward to dollars from AutoZone Liberty Bowl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Local tourism looks forward to dollars from AutoZone Liberty Bowl

While victor at this year's AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be decided Saturday, the game itself was the big winner Thursday.

During a Liberty Bowl media event, officials from ESPN announced the network has signed a contract to carry the game thru 2013.

Officials involved with Memphis' local tourism industry said it was just the latest sign of the positive impact the game is having on the city.
According to Bob Mercer, general manager of the downtown Hilton Hotel, Memphis' hotels, restaurants, and other business are enjoying the dollars and time AutoZone Liberty Bowl fans are spending in the Bluff City.

"Memphis will be the winner, because of the crowd that particular game brings to town during a normal slow period of time," Mercer said.

From a mid-week luncheon held Thursday, to visits to Graceland and other city attractions, Memphis cash registers are ringing.

"We roamed up and down Beale Street and went into a number of establishments," Sharon Sklandany, a visitor from New England said. "My husband and I, we had never been here before, and heard some wonderful music and had some wonderful food."

City officials say no matter which team scores the most points on the field, the Memphis tourism industry will be the big winner.

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