Southern Heritage Classic has $21.6M economic impact on Memphis

Southern Heritage Classic brings economic boost

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tailgaters from across the country have invaded the Liberty Bowl for the Southern Heritage Classic.

The event will bring in thousands of fans and millions of dollars.

Tailgaters could began setting up at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Southern Heritage Classic founder, Fred Jones, says they had over 500 tailgating spots. They were all sold out by mid-May.

Carita Jones-Cannon says tailgating at the Classic is a 10-year tradition for her family.

Over 200 family members come to Memphis from all over the country.

“We all meet for the Southern Heritage Classic for a big family gathering and to have fun,” said Jones-Cannon.

Over the past 30 years, people like Jones-Cannon and others have made the Southern Heritage Classic a success.

The event is a $21.6 million annual economic impact for the city of Memphis.

About 60,000 people come to the city each year for the event.

Since 1990, 1.3 million visitors have come to Memphis for the classic for food, friends and lots of fun.

Jackson State plays Tennessee State Saturday at the Liberty Bowl.

No matter which team wins on the gridiron, both schools have been winners over the years.

Fred Jones says the two schools have collectively earned $12 million.

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