Cost of throwing down at Southern Heritage Classic goes up

It's no secret that tailgating at the Southern Heritage Classic has taken on a life of its own. This year the city will make more money off of the pregame festivities.

Tailgating at the Southern Heritage Classic is an event that has grown to be as popular as the game itself.

"We plan from year to year and this is our 6th annual," says Tailgate Committee Captain Marie Hogan.

Organizers of the Memphissippi tailgate bash are expecting 600 people at their pregame party this Saturday.

But this year the cost of throwing down is going up. Party hosts will now have to pay $10 for every parking space they occupy. For the Memphissippi party that's $700 additional dollars.

"It's usually totally free and that kind of got us a little off guard but luckily we were prepared for it," adds Hogan.

"Tailgating for the classic is really over the top now," says Fred Jones.

Fred Jones is Classic Founder and he says his committee and city park services came up with the idea to charge per parking space this year. "Tailgaters can't take up all the parking spaces. We expect 15,000 people at the game. We have to have somewhere for them to park," Jones adds.

But party planners say they found out about it at the last minute--after their tent was put up.

Despite the added cost, Marie Hogan's group has no plans to back out. But she's afraid others will. "I'm looking around and I don't see as many tents as I normally see out here and I think its really going to hurt the event. I think that the committee could have done a better job of communicating that," says Hogan.

The extra money collected for parking will go to the city of Memphis.

There's also an additional fee for RV campers, they have to pay $25 dollars to park and an extra $60 dollars if they want to hook up to water and power.

Organizers say many of the the tailgaters don't even go to the game. Football fans say the city is taking some of the fun out of an annual tradition.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.