AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL RECAP
January 11, 2016
MEMPHIS — The 57th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl took place on January 2, 2016, but the bowl experience began much earlier than the game itself. After the Kansas State University and the University of Arkansas football teams arrived on Monday, Dec. 28, record numbers of fans traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to support their teams.
The AutoZone Liberty Bowl kicked off its festivities with the Team Welcome Party at the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, Memphis’s newest tourist destination. Teams enjoyed bowling at Uncle Buck’s FishBowl & Grill Restaurant while dining on a delicious meal. Using the gift card provided in their bowl gift package, players explored the vast store which offered plenty of outdoor items to browse, and fans of all ages got a chance to interact with their favorite players.
To give the teams another chance to experience Memphis, the players and coaches attended a Memphis Grizzlies basketball game. Coach Bielema and Coach Snyder were honored at center court during the game with their own Grizzlies jerseys.
This year’s AutoZone Liberty Bowl saw record attendance in multiple events. The annual rodeo saw record crowds with packed seating, involving not just fans and the two teams, but also Memphis locals in the fun. The Parade and Pep Rally on Beale Street was a big draw for many fans. The bars offered a warm vantage point to enjoy the parade, and several of the local establishments were rented out to groups of fans from each school.
“The bowl game is the one vacation we take each year,” said Jerry Brenabaum, an avid Kansas State fan. “We love getting to come and see what each city has to offer during the time we stay.”
In addition to the record attendance at these events, there was a sellout crowd for the game, leading to an extraordinary experience for the fans, teams and AutoZone Liberty Bowl staff.
“The sellout crowd at the game and all of our events is a testament to the wonderful support and enthusiasm from our local community and the incredibly loyal and energized fans from Arkansas and K-State,” said Harold Graeter, Associate Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. “We’re proud to showcase the Memphis community to the visiting fans who attended the game and our various bowl week events. We hope they return home with life-long memories created at the 57th AutoZone Liberty Bowl.”