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Tigers Football Insider: Memphis plans to meet Liberty Stadium fundraising goal by end of 2024
Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium on  September 16, 2022. (Patrick Lantrip/The Daily Memphian file)

Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium on  September 16, 2022. (Patrick Lantrip/The Daily Memphian file)

Welcome back to the Tigers Football Insider, where we bring you the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Frank Bonner II and Tim Buckley during the college football season.

After today’s Insider, the Insider will take a break until closer to the start of the 2024 football season.

When the Memphis City Council approved the previous minutes on Tuesday, that finalized the allocation of $120 million in state funding to go toward renovations of Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium while transferring the ownership of the stadium to the University of Memphis Auxiliary Services Foundation.


The university released a video with athletic director Laird Veatch describing a few more details. 

The Tigers will have a total of $170 million allocated, which includes a $50 million donation from the FedEx founder Fred Smith’s family. The donated $50 million won’t be released until Memphis matches it by raising an additional $50 million. Veatch said during the nearly four-minute interview with broadcaster Jeff Brightwell that Memphis plans to have that raised in gift commitments by the end of the calendar year.

“Which is obviously a significant ask for our people,” Veatch said in the video, “but we really are confident in both the capacity and collective will of Tiger nation to make that happen.”

Although there wasn’t a clear-cut date on when construction would start, Veatch did offer an overview of how Memphis plans to attack the project.

He explained that the first phase would be to move what Veatch described as the gameday operation components from the west side of the stadium to the east side. That includes the coaches’ booth, media press box and television operations. Veatch said he anticipates having more information “in the coming weeks.”


“Not only in terms of that construction timeline but how it will impact fans, particularly for this next football season,” Veatch said. “Believe me, we are excited. We are ready to get started. And we’re looking forward to both construction and fundraising. A lot more information to come and excited to share that as soon as we have it.”

More from your Insider:

Memphis hires Lou Esposito as defensive line coach

Former Tiger replaces defensive line coach Kyle Pope, who spent four years with the program.

NFL Week 18: Notable performances from former Tigers

Bryce Huff reached 10 sacks on the year after recording two this week. He tied the 11th-most sacks in a single season by a New York Jets player.

Memphis linebackers coach Jordon Hankins promoted to defensive coordinator

Jordon Hankins was the defensive coordinator in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl as the Tigers’ defense held Iowa State to zero rushing yards in a 36-26 win. 

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