On-campus Stadium Strikes a Nerve
Thanks to Jackson Baker and the Flyer for presenting such a detailed article regarding the feasibility of an on-campus stadium for the University of Memphis -- and Harold Byrd's determination on this issue ("Damn the Torpedoes!," March 1st issue).
As a graduate of the U of M and a loyal fan, I have always wanted us to have on-campus facilities for both basketball and football. A few years ago, I volunteered to help the Tiger Scholarship fund recruit new members. The idea of an on-campus stadium would always come up, and [athletic director] R.C. Johnson would quickly dismiss the idea.
I cannot understand why university officials would not want thousands of passionate alumni and loyal fans visiting the campus for several weekends each year. What better way for a school to stay connected with its alumni, supporters, and potential donors? Every other major university in the country realized this decades ago, and it is time for the U of M to join them.
Regarding Harold Byrd's drive to have the proposed new Memphis football stadium located on the University of Memphis campus: I believe his ideas are right on track! Louisville, Kentucky, and Oxford, Mississippi, just to name two, have both provided a template for a winning strategy, which Memphis should strongly consider. Richard TravisMemphis
Although your story prominently featured Harold Byrd, it really was about the status of the University of Memphis in this community. I have long thought that the U of M was underappreciated and underrecognized.
The article highlights the fact that the campus does not attract enough traffic. If people know what they have, perhaps they will appreciate it for what it is -- a wonderful resource for the community.
Bruce S. Kramer
Congratulations on a great article. Sometimes our politicians forget that an on-campus stadium is for the University of Memphis. It is not an afterthought in a plan to fix the Fairgrounds or to re-energize downtown (The Pyramid). It should be a true home field for our university.
Thanks for publicizing a private citizen's view of things. Many times our politicians compromise so many things to get a project started that it never really serves its real purpose.
I am a graduate student at the U of M. I am strongly in favor of Byrd's proposal. This would inject some much-needed life into the city and to the university's football program. A new stadium would make recruiting quality students and athletes considerably easier for coaches and faculty. I commend the Flyer for putting the limelight on the stadium issue.
I'm a recent graduate of the University of Memphis and an avid fan of Tiger sports. After attending four years of football games as a student at the Liberty Bowl, I agree with Byrd that there would be countless benefits to building an on-campus football stadium.
An on-campus stadium would create more of a collegiate football experience for students and fans, foster new traditions, and build a stronger community for the university. The U of M is the only state university in Tennessee without an on-campus stadium. It would raise awareness for Tiger athletics for all the commuters on campus (17,876 people, or 93 percent of all students this semester).
The problem of funding can be solved by increased ticket and concession sales, private donations, corporate sponsorships, and advertising. Harold Byrd has the right idea: An on-campus stadium for the Tigers makes perfect sense!
Those who truly love the University of Memphis have dreamed of an on-campus stadium for years. It would open untapped sources of money that we have been needing for years by bringing alumni back to the campus. Byrd's "idea" should be given serious consideration!
I am a 1972 graduate of the University of Memphis, and I agree whole-heartedly with Harold Byrd. I believe a football stadium on the campus would be a great asset to the university and to the city of Memphis.