Water woes could not keep fans away for 64th AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 7:48 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Despite the water woes Memphis and Shelby County are facing following the winter storm that froze the Mid-South over Christmas weekend, football fans were not going to miss this year’s Bowl game!

The 64th AutoZone Liberty Bowl saw an estimated 50,000 fans come to see the University of Kansas Jayhawks take on the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Those fans packed the Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium despite the city’s ongoing water issues.

Many fans arrived Wednesday morning at Tiger Lane to set up for tailgating.

RVs, portable heaters, and lots of great food could be found from tent to tent.

However, due to a Boil Water Advisory, Autozone Liberty Bowl officials had to make some changes, including adding hand sanitizer pumps near all existing restrooms and concession areas.

Liberty Bowl officials also added over 400 Porta-Johns due to the water pressure issues, but two hours before kick-off, they were able to open up all the restrooms on the main concourse.

Concession stands were open inside the stadium as well.

We spoke to many fans who had to change reservations because their hotel did not have working water when they arrived; but despite the issues, fans say they never considered not coming to Memphis for the game.

“We were always going to come, maybe make other plans and just for the day versus overnight, but we were on Beale street Tuesday for lunch, and I think the water situation has been taken cared of mostly,” said Arkansas Razorback fan Tracy Dolan.

We also spoke to Jayhawks fan Loren Bonn who drove to Memphis on Monday.

He says he found out about the ongoing water issues about an hour before reaching Memphis via Twitter.

“Yes, we got quite the surprise, our hotel was without water,” said Bonn.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water CEO Doug McGowen updated the public on continuing water problems across the city Wednesday, saying the utility is not yet ready to lift the boil water notice.

He says pressure must first be restored to its regular levels and then the water must be sampled to make sure it is safe for consumption.

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