MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Arkansas and Kansas will take the field in Memphis on Wednesday for the 64th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl, but unless things change, there will be no working drinking fountains or toilets.
That’s because cold temperatures damaged the city’s water system, and broke a water main at the Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.
Liberty Bowl organizers are bringing in more than 400 porta-potties to the stadium. An additional 80 hand sanitizer stations will be placed near all restrooms and concession areas.
Organizers say all concessions will remain fully operational, and tailgating along Tiger Lane is also being allowed. All stadium seating will be available.
Some 60,000 football fans aren’t letting their game day fun go down the drain due to the Memphis water crisis.
“I must say they made great accommodations for everybody for the game to go on,” said Fred Everette, who came from Birmingham to see the game. “They have porta potties. I don’t see any issues. As long as they have something for the guest I feel like the game is good to go.”
Many tourists checked into their hotel rooms Tuesday. Some fans say that while the city’s water problem is an inconvenience, it’s not enough to spoil their fun.
“We had a little bit of low water pressure but outside of that, we are as normal,” said Kansas fan J.T. Harrison. “Our tailgate, we are good to run. We have bottles of water but we have a lot of beer.”
Edward Langston said he had to go to several different stores to find water to accommodate guests at his tailgate.
“Water was tough. we had to scrounge a little to find it because all the stores were sold out,” Langston said. “We had to get creative. Instead of getting regular water wet got fitness water and Gatorade and other things.”
Langston had been to Memphis before and said he thinks the situation will be handled.
“I have been to Memphis in May and porta johns were the option, and I think if we got enough of them it will work out okay,” he said.
The celebration started Tuesday with the Liberty Bowl parade winding its way down Beale Street, and the celebration is not likely to end until very late Wednesday.
The game kicks off at 4:30.