It’s officially football season and while most of the region gears up for the annual slugfests between SEC rivals, the University of Memphis has quietly stepped up their team’s gameday experience with another round of MMC-led renovations to the Liberty Bowl. The University, having, just recently, returned to football relevancy under coach Justin Fuente, has now firmly established itself as a legitimate football school under current coach, Mike Norvell. Last season, the Tigers were undefeated at home with a win over the No. 25-ranked UCLA Bruins. They averaged 36,302 fans per game at home, fifth among group of five schools and third in the American Athletic Conference.
Prior to last season, MMC assisted in several phased improvements to the Liberty Bowl including a new video board, new chairback seats and upgrades to the media and skybox facilities. These were mainly fan experience improvements designed to attract more ticket sales and bring areas of the arena into ADA compliance. This summer, the University, in partnership with the City of Memphis chose to give the players some much needed love in the form of a brand-new locker room. Last week, the locker room was finally unveiled to the players and the public in anticipation of their season home opener.
This new locker room now provides nearly 6,000 square feet of state-of-the-art space. The 105 lockers are all equipped with LED Monitors and data connectivity to display personalized info about each player. Every square inch of the space is designed to exude excellence, from the quotes on the walls to the high definition video imagery of game highlights that play on loop. The walls and columns are adorned with custom sheet metal panels and in the ceilings, swaths of LED lighting are covered in punched paneling to create a club-like vibe. There are even moving lights that sync with music from the upgraded sound system.
From an operations standpoint, both the new coaches’ rooms along with the training room now provide direct access to the Liberty Bowl field. On several walls are large high-definition monitors that are connected to the offices allowing game planning to be broadcast to the team. The team enters the field from a main entrance that features more LED panels, looping video walls and a custom and contemporary steel roll-up door with one-way glass.
It’s an over-the-top space designed to operate professionally and efficiently while providing the necessary pre-game hype for the football team.