By: Greg Russell, Editor, U of M Publications, Division of Marketing, Public Relations
The University of Memphis’ new entrance to Liberty Bowl Stadium through the fairgrounds
will be called “Tiger Lane.” It will be a major boost for the football team, but Memphis
Mayor A C Wharton sees another benefit as well. “I like to refer to it as a bridge.
Bridges bring people together. We’re going to be known as the city that takes steps
to bring people together.”
Officially the Tiger Lane Public Green Space Project, the eight-acre greenway will
stretch from East Parkway to the Liberty Bowl Stadium. With crews working 14-hour
shifts seven days a week, it is scheduled to be ready for Memphis’ first home football
game Sept. 18.
The Tiger players will march the 1300 feet from the park entrance to the Liberty Bowl,
while fans line the 160-foot-wide route as the players make their grand entrance.
Some of those fans will occupy the 600 tailgating pads, each with “green space,” that
will be added along the greenway.
“The Liberty Bowl is already famous, and now Tiger Lane will be part of that,” U of
M President Shirley Raines said. “It will be a great atmosphere for our fans and for
U of M Athletic Director R.C. Johnson said Tiger Lane is “another piece of the BCS
puzzle” as the Tigers look to move to a BCS conference. “This will take our football
program even higher,” Johnson said. “It will have a BCS feel to it. The timing is
perfect for our new coach, Larry Porter.”
Johnson also said the greenway will “be a family-oriented place to celebrate our games.”
The construction of Tiger Lane is a key facet of a $15 million overhaul of the entire
fairgrounds. Most buildings and facilities at Libertyland have been razed. A significant
aspect of the overhaul is to make the area “greener” and more sustainable. City officials
hope it will be used as a park year round.