Sports in Memphis, Tennessee
Sports in Memphis, Tennessee are supported in the city by Memphis Park Services, which offers a wide range of public facilities, including 17 swimming pools, 8 public golf courses, 48 athletic fields hosting a range of 510 youth and 269 adult teams, 130 basketball courts (101 outdoor and 29 indoor), 7 tennis centers and a soccer complex.
Memphis is also home to professional sports teams in basketball, baseball and other sports. Golf, basketball, baseball and tennis are popular recreational sports in Memphis.
Overview of Professional Teams
The Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association is the only one of the "big four" major sports leagues in the city. The team played at the Pyramid Arena from 2001–2004 and then moved to the FedExForum in downtown Memphis.
The Memphis Tigers basketball team represents the University of Memphis in NCAA Division I men's college basketball. The Tigers compete in American Athletic Conference and play their home games at FedExForum.
The Memphis Houn'Dawgs was an American Basketball Association (ABA) team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The team began play in the fall of 2000. The team played in the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi, and only played the 2000-2001 ABA season before disbanding. The name was an apparent nod to the proposed NFL franchise team, the Memphis Hound Dogs (in turn, a nod to the song of the same name by Elvis Presley) which never got off the ground.
Memphis has been home to several professional baseball teams since as early as 1877. The city's first Minor League Baseball team was the Memphis Reds of the League Alliance. In 1885, another team nicknamed the Reds joined the original Southern League. They were followed by the Southern League's Grays (1886), Browns (1887), Grays (1888), and an unnamed team in 1889. Later entries in the league were the Giants (1892), Fever Germs (1893), and Giants/Lambs (1894–95). Memphis fielded teams in the Southern Association from 1901 to 1960. They were known as the Memphis Egyptians (1901–08), Turtles (1909–11), and Chickasaws or Chicks (1912–60).
The Memphis Eclipses and Memphis Eurekas played in the Negro league Southern League of Colored Base Ballists in 1886. The Memphis Red Sox played in various Negro leagues in 1920 and from 1923 to 1950. The Memphis Blues competed in the Negro Southern League in 1947.
From 1968 to 1976, the Memphis Blues played in the Double-A Texas League (1968–73) and the Triple-A International League (1974–76). The Memphis Chicks played in the Double-A Southern League from 1978 to 1997. Since 1998, the Memphis Redbirds have played in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League as the top farm club of the St. Louis Cardinals at AutoZone Park, a state-of-the-art baseball-only venue in downtown Memphis.
The University of Memphis Tigers football team plays their home games in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The Memphis Kings is an amateur football team that plays in the North American Football League. The Panthers play at Robert Halle Stadium.
Memphis has hosted several professional football teams for brief periods over the years. The Memphis Tigers played there in the late 1920s and early 1930s,. In more recent years the city has been host to teams from five different professional leagues. Memphis held a franchise, the Memphis Southmen, in the short-lived professional World Football League (1974–1975). The Memphis Showboats played in the United States Football League (1984–1985). The Memphis Mad Dogs were an expansion franchise of the Canadian Football League in 1995. The NFL's Tennessee Titans, formerly known as the Houston Oilers, relocated to Memphis for one season (as the Tennessee Oilers) in 1997 before moving to Nashville. Most recently the Memphis Maniax represented the city in the XFL (2001). Each of these teams called the Liberty Bowl their home field.
Memphis also saw indoor football in the forms of the Memphis Pharaohs in the Arena Football League (1995-1996) who played home games at Pyramid Arena, and the Memphis Xplorers in AF2 (2000-2006) who played their home games at DeSoto Civic Center in the nearby suburb city of Southaven, Mississippi.
Golf is a very popular form of recreation in Memphis, which has eight municipal courses. The City's first public facility, Galloway Golf Course, was created in 1923. There are now over 30 public and private golf courses in the Memphis Metropolitan Area. Memphis is home to the annual FedEx St. Jude Classic, a regular part of the PGA TOUR.
Memphis is also home to Memphis Motorsports Park, just north of the city on the outskirts of Memphis and Millington, TN. The venue has a 3/4-mile (1207 m) paved oval track that annually hosts 2 NASCAR-sanctioned events, a Busch-series race (the Sam's Town 250) and a Craftsman Truck series race (the O'Reilly 200). It also has a 1/4-mile (402 m) drag strip that annually hosts the NHRA POWERade O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, as well as locally sanctioned events that run from February to November. Another racetrack in the Memphis metro area is Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas. It is a 1/4 mile track that midget, sprint and stock-car races happen.
Memphis is also home to the Memphis Blues, a Rugby Union team, which plays at Tobey Field in Midtown, Memphis.
Memphis has an active presence in the derby world courtesy of Memphis Roller Derby. The team is a sanctioned member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association and competes in the South Central Region. The Memphis league has four home teams that compete in intra-league bouts, plus one travel team that competes in other cities.
Memphis Park Services maintains seven public tennis centers. Memphis is home to the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup. The Regions Morgan Keegan Championships is an ATP event, and the Cellular South Cup is a WTA event. The senior event, the Stanford Championships started in Memphis, but it has since relocated to Dallas, Texas.
Memphis also has a fertile history when it comes to pro wrestling. The sport's greatest name to come out of the city is Jerry "The King" Lawler. Other greats who started out in Memphis include Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, "Macho Man" Randy Savage", and Ric Flair. Memphis has two pro-wrestling organizations, "Power-Pro Wrestling" which is filmed in the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, and Memphis Wrestling which is filmed in the DeSoto Civic Center in Desoto County, Mississippi.
Overview of Collegiate Teams
|Memphis Tigers men's basketball||FedExForum|
|Memphis Tigers women's basketball||Elma Roane Fieldhouse|
|Memphis Tigers Football||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium|
|Memphis Tigers Baseball||FedExPark|
|Memphis Tigers Soccer||Mike Rose Soccer Complex|
|Memphis Tigers Softball||Tigers Softball Complex|
|Memphis Tigers Golf||Frank L. Flautt Golf Center|
|Memphis Tigers Tennis||Racquet Club of Memphis|
|Rhodes Lynx Basketball||Mallory-Hyde Gymnasium|
|Rhodes Lynx Football||Crain Field|
|Christian Brothers Buccaneers Basketball||Canale Arena|
|Christian Brothers Buccaneers Soccer||Signaigo Field|
|Christian Brothers Buccaneers Baseball||Nadicksbernd Field|
|Christian Brothers Buccaneers Softball||Bland Field|
Overview of defunct professional teams
|Memphis Rogues||NASL||1978–1980||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium|
|Memphis Americans||MISL||1981–1984||Mid-South Coliseum|
|Memphis Showboats||USFL||1984–1986||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium|
|Memphis Storm||AISL||1986–1990||Mid-South Coliseum|
|Memphis Storm||USISL||1990–1994||Shelby Farms Show Place Arena|
|Memphis Express||USL PDL||2002–2005||Mike Rose Soccer Complex/Collierville High School|
Memphis has been represented by several now-defunct professional sports franchises, including the Memphis Pharaohs of Arena Football, the Memphis Maniax of the XFL, the Memphis Xplorers of the AF2, the Memphis Showboats of the USFL, the Memphis Southmen of the WFL, the Memphis Houn'Dawgs of the ABA, the Memphis Sounds of the original ABA in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the Memphis Mad Dogs of the CFL.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sports in Memphis, Tennessee.|
- Memphis Park Services
- "Memphis, Tennessee Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
- Lauderdale, Vance Ask Vance: Coach Houses Memphis Magazine March 1, 2008
- City of Memphis - Park Services - Golf
- History of The Memphis Park Services
- Golflink - Memphis, TN Golf Courses
- "Official Memphis Women's Rugby Website".
MMA Former UFC Light Heavy Weight, and current #1 contender, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was born and raised in Memphis.