Weekly Update


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We all know we’re blessed to live in a city with great amenities -- the Grizzlies, the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis in May … the list goes on and on.

Make sure you add the Southern Heritage Classic to that list, too. The game between Jackson State and Tennessee State will be played tomorrow night, but the football is merely a crescendo to an entire weekend of fun -- including a college and career fair we hosted today.

I was fortunate to host a reception for the visiting schools last night and to serve as the keynote speaker at today’s coaches luncheon. There, I made a major announcement: We recently agreed to a five-year contract with three one-year options to keep the game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, ensuring SHC weekend will be a staple of Memphis Septembers for years to come.

The game has an economic impact of millions of dollars and an untold cultural impact on our city. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the Southern Heritage Classic’s contribution to our city this weekend.

The red-hot Redbirds: Speaking of amenities, how about those Memphis Redbirds?

They’re tied 1-1 with Colorado Springs in the first round of the Pacific Coast League playoffs. If they’re able to win two more in Colorado Springs this weekend, they’ll be back at the middle of next week for the championship round.

The Redbirds went 91-50 this year, easily the best record in all of the PCL.

We should all take a moment and take stock of the job Peter Freund, Craig Unger and the staff there have done infusing new life in the Redbirds and the entire operation at AutoZone Park. Attendance is up again this year, and there’s a new buzz around our ‘Birds.

Yes, we’re going after it: News came Thursday morning that Amazon is looking to build a second headquarters that could employ tens of thousands and transform a city’s future. I was emailing our staff shortly after dawn, letting them know that we’ll absolutely be placing a bid.

Some of our great successes recently, such as the retention and Downtown move of ServiceMaster, coupled with stalwart corporate citizens like FedEx, AutoZone, International Paper and First Tennessee, prove to me that we have momentum. Let’s take the next step and give it our best shot.

Memphis deserves no less.

Heading to Florida: Fresh off its trip to Houston to help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Tennessee Task Force One is heading to a staging area to be ready to conduct search and rescue in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. We hope and pray that the task force’s services won’t be needed, but we know that Floridians will be in the good hands of many Memphians if they are.

See you tomorrow morning: I’ll be at the annual Orange Mound Parade, one of my favorite events of the year. It starts at 9 a.m. at Park and Haynes and travels west to Airways.


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