The Liberty Bowl, home of the Showboats, also serves as the home of, you guessed it, the Liberty Bowl college post-season football game.
Steven Ehrhart, who served as President and General Manager of the 'Boats, today is the Executive Director of the group that stages the Liberty Bowl each year.
The Liberty Bowl actually originated in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but the game was moved to Memphis when city leaders built the stadium in part to attract tourism.

Built in 1965 at a cost of $ 3 million, Memphis Memorial Stadium was constructed as part of the city's Mid-South Fairgrounds, and was initially dedicated to Memphis' military service veterans.  It was built in part to provide a permanent home to the Liberty Bowl, a college bowl game that had moved to Memphis from Philadelphia (by way of Atlantic City), and shortly after the first game there the stadium was rechristened the Liberty Bowl.

With seating for 50,180 at the time Logan Young was awarded the USFL franchise for Memphis, today the facility boasts a seating capacity of 62,380 thanks to a 1987 expansion.  In the early 1990's this expansion helped facilitate an effort to get an NFL expansion franchise, and did help in welcoming the CFL's Memphis Mad Dogs for a year.  The NFL finally came calling in 1997 when the Houston Oilers relocated, intending to play two seasons in Memphis while a stadium in Nashville was being constructed for them.  Disgusted at the thought that the NFL was going to Nashville instead of Memphis, fans stayed away in droves - and after just a year the Oilers left, moving into Nashville's Vanderbilt Stadium rather than play to Memphis crowds that were smaller than what the Showboats had drawn 15 years earlier.

On New Years' Day 2007, Memphis mayor Willie Herenton proposed the Liberty Bowl be replaced with a new, state-of-the-art stadium.


Memphis, Tennessee


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