Tailgating to resume Saturday; city says it never intended to ban it

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The City of Memphis says it never intended to ban tailgating in Tobey Park during Saturday’s game between the University of Memphis Tigers and Nicholls State.  

In a Wednesday tweet, the city said, “For the 2021 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium football season, tailgating will not be allowed in Tobey Park.” 

It came as a blow to Tigers fans who weren’t able to tailgate last year due to COVID concerns. 

“Last year we didn’t get to tailgate at all so them telling us ‘Oh, you can’t do it still,’ you know, that literally put, like a damper on my day,” said Lindsey Thron.  

The city followed up with a tweet on Thursday in which it seemed to backtrack from the original tweet.  

“Due to overwhelming demand, tailgating can continue at Tobey Park,” the tweet read.  

But Friday, City of Memphis Parks Director Nick Walter said the city never meant to ban tailgating at Tobey Park and acknowledged that the wording of the original tweet may have caused confusion. 

“I think it was just a little bit of confused messaging. Truly what we meant was no free tailgating,” said Walker.  

It will now cost you $15 to park in Tobey Park, which is still cheaper than the $20 it costs to park in the Liberty Bowl lot.  

Tailgaters will be able to buy up to four parking spots. 

“When you pull up, they’re gonna say, ‘How many spots do you want?’  The smart thing to do would be to come in a caravan, have your folks with you, that way you can pull in together,” said Walker. 

Katie Scott said she and her family plan to get there early.  

“We’ll probably get to tailgating around lunchtime and then stay there all day,” she said.  

Gates at Tobey Park will open at 10 a.m. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.  

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