Picture it : 1997 Nashville, TN
A sold out crowd watched the TSU vs FAMU Homecoming game in 1994 in Vanderbilt’s 40,000 seat stadium. We had to use Vandy’s stadium when we brought big rivals in because Hale Stadium was too small to accommodate the large crowds.
We had just signed the deal to play our home games in Adelphia Coliseum now LP Field. Now for a low yearly price of roughly 250K (rental and cleaning fees), we finally had a stadium with our name on it that could be used for large crowds. All the revenue would go to us as well.
To think, we could finally play big games in Nashville instead of travelling across the country playing classic games that really result in very low payouts.
Luckily, the Atlanta Classic Contract ended, and FAMU owed us a home game from the 1998 visit. What a great time to bring one of our biggest rivals back to Nashville, and to officially christen the use of Adelphia stadium.
Instead we kept to tradition, and signed a deal with FAMU to play in the Atlanta Classic for 11 years. We know the end result of our involvement with the Atlanta Classic.
13 years later, we finally had the opportunity to bring FAMU to Nashville again for the John Merritt Classic during our Centennial Celebration. We had the lowest John Merritt attendance ever.
I will leave you with the question. As a new President will be placed in office soon, what should be the new vision for our athletics programs?