MEMPHIS, TN – The 31st Southern Heritage Classic (SHC) has announced its cancellation of events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to cancel all events was made after SHC’s management reviewed a copy of the Shelby County Health Department’s Health Directive No. 6 detailing emergency management relief efforts put in place to address COVID-19, specifically those regarding recreational or athletic activities. On average, over 75,000 people attend the SHC annually and individual events such as the tailgate in Tiger Lane, the football game between Jackson State University and Tennessee State University, the parade in Orange Mound, and others draw massive crowds which have the potential to increase the spread of the novel coronavirus. After careful consideration, all Southern Heritage Classic events that were scheduled for September 10-12, 2020 will no longer be held. Those who have purchased tickets for the football game can receive refunds at the point of purchase.

“I know this is a great disappointment to many who consider the SHC as one of the major highlights of the year. The health and safety of our attendees along with that of our staff, sponsors, and others is a top priority. I encourage everyone to keep practicing recommended safety and social distancing measures so that we can return to our social activities as soon as possible,” said Fred Jones, Founder of the Southern Heritage Classic.

SHC is grateful for Jackson State University, Tennessee State University, the fans, sponsors, and the SHC ambassadors, who have supported the classic throughout the years, and looks forward to your continued support. This isn’t the first challenge faced by SHC, and will overcome this one as have the others.

For more information, contact the Southern Heritage Classic Headquarters at 901-398-6655, 1-800-332-1991, or smc@smcentertainment.net.

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MEMPHIS, TN – Tickets for the 30th Annual Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx football game go on sale this Friday, February 1st. The highly-anticipated game between the long-time rivals Tennessee State University and Jackson State University will take place on Saturday, September 14th at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Fans are encouraged to get their tickets early. The prices are $53, $38, and $23 plus service charges. They can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or charged by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

The Classic30 activities will take place September 11-14. The festivities include the vents fans know and love such as the Classic Tailgate, Classic Parade, and the Classic Fashions and Brunch along with a few extras that will be announced at a later date. According to SHC Founder, Fred Jones Jr., it will be a time to remember.

“For an event like the Southern Heritage Classic to exist 30 years is a blessing. As always, the Classic Football Game is at the center of it all. That’s why we are putting those tickets on sale first,” said Jones. “I am grateful for 30 years of support from our dedicated fans and sponsors. Everyone is invited to come enjoy another fun-filled Southern Heritage Classic.”

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About the Southern Heritage Classic

The Southern Heritage Classic, founded in 1990 by Fred Jones Jr., brings fans from across the U.S. to watch football rivals Jackson State University and Tennessee State University play every September at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. The greatness of the Classic rests on how it connects kindred spirits – young and old – in celebration of the beauty of cultural diversity and the richness of the city’s heritage. For tickets and more information, visit www.southernheritagelcassic.com.

MEMPHIS, TN – After more than three hours of lightning delays in Memphis at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, the Southern Heritage Classic football game between Tennessee State and Jackson State was canceled.

“We went through all the options and checked both of the schedules, and there was no other way to play this game,” said Fred Jones, founder of the Southern Heritage Classic. “The next game between Jackson State and Tennessee State will be in 2019. It’s a very unfortunate situation, and everybody wrestled with the decision.”

According to the Commercial Appeal, Jones and the presidents of both Jackson State and Tennessee State looked into rescheduling the game for Sunday, but the forecast is equally as ominous. The idea of playing the game further down the line was also proposed, but the schedules were too conflicting.

The Southern Heritage Classic released a statement from the founder Fred Jones Jr., which stated the following:

“As you know, inclement weather, which included lightning, caused us to cancel last night’s Southern Heritage Classic football game between Jackson State University and Tennessee State University. The game was initially delayed several hours in hopes that the weather would improve and the teams could play. Unfortunately, that did not happen. This is not only a huge disappointment to the fans but to myself and the Classic staff, both universities, and the many Classic ambassadors (volunteers) who work hard to organize it each year. In our 29 years of hosting the classic, this is the first year the game was not played. Many people still have questions, and we have provided some information that we hope will answer the most pressing ones.

  • The game will not be rescheduled. Conflicting schedules for Jackson State and Tennessee State’s football teams prevent being able to play in 2018
  • Ticket holders who would like a refund can receive it at their point of purchase
  • The next football game between Jackson State and Tennessee State will be played during the 30th Annual Southern Heritage Classic. We are planning an exciting 5-day celebration that we know the fans will enjoy

We thank everyone who has supported the Southern Heritage Classic throughout the years. Each person is an invaluable part of what has become a time-honored tradition, and we look forward to having that support for many years to come.”

Though Jones stated that fans can receive a refund of their tickets for the game. President Glover and Bynum, however, suggested that ticket holders will use their refund to make financial contributions to the universities instead.

“The discussion is that individuals would recommend that their refund is used to go to Tennessee State or Jackson State universities – two historically black colleges – because HBCUs are in need of financial support,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University. “This would be one way to assist two prominent HBCUs.”

A photo of fans patiently waiting in hopes that the weather clears up to witness another year of HBCU football at the Southern Heritage Classic – Jackson State vs. Tennessee State at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN. Photo courtesy of the Southern Heritage Classic.

The NCAA mandates that after each lightning strike at a certain distance, the game must be delayed for 30 minutes. The Jackson State band and the rest of the fans were asked around 5:15 p.m. The storms in the area prevented anyone from returning to their seats the rest of the night.

The game was officially canceled as of 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Despite the rain, Classic fans had an amazing time as usual at the tailgate — which is one of the biggest among an HBCU classics. The Classic celebrates historically black universities as well as the Memphis culture. The Classic parade is held in Orange Mound, which is the first residential community for African-American’s in the South. Along with the parade, the Classic with the City of  Memphis Youth Services presents a College and Career Fair which brings representatives from various corporations, colleges and organizations in providing career and college readiness to the youth in the city.

REFUND INFORMATION

Ticket holder’s who wish to receive a refund, can bring their tickets to their point of purchase. Refund information is listed below for each location.

TICKETMASTER

Refunds will be issued beginning Monday, September 10th. For more information, visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 1-800-725-3000.

LIBERTY BOWL MEMORIAL STADIUM

Refunds will be issued at the stadium box office Tuesday, September 11th – Thursday, September 13th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. CST. Those who cannot return to the box office, must mail their tickets to the following address to received a refund:

Pat Agnew
c/o Southern Heritage Classic
4466 Elvis Presley Blvd., Ste. 248
Memphis, TN 38116

For more information, contact the Southern Heritage Classic at 901-398-6655 or 1-800-332-1991.

JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY TICKET OFFICE

Refunds will be issued beginning Tuesday, September 11th. For more information, contact the Jackson State University Ticket Office at 601-979-2420.

TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY TICKET OFFICE

Refunds will be issued beginning Tuesday, September 11th. For more information, contact the Tennessee State University Ticket Office at 615-963-5841.

Save the date for the 30th Annual Southern Heritage Classic September 11-15.

For more information, visit the Southern Heritage Classic website at www.southernheritageclassic.com.