Memphis missing out on millions after Southern Heritage Classic canceled due to COVID-19

WATCH: Fans missing BBQ, friends, and football after Southern Heritage Classic canceled due to COVID-19

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The annual Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis is not just about fun, food, friends, and football.

It also means millions of dollars in economic impact for the city. That’s something a lot of Bluff City businesses could use right now.

The Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx is an annual historically black college football game between the Tigers of Jackson State University and the Tigers of Tennessee State University since 1990.

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The festivities and the spending won’t happen this weekend because of the coronavirus. This is the time when thousands of people would normally start the party.

Casey Allen told FOX13 he has not missed a single year of the classic until the pandemic forced organizers to cancel this year’s game and events.

“I personally had family coming in, friends coming in, fraternity brothers coming in," said Allen. "But it’s a great thing to just sit back and just follow the system and make sure everybody is safe.”

Usually, Tiger Lane and the stadium would be packed with thousands of people. Many look forward to the tailgating and good football game.

“Not coming this year is a big disappointment, and economically a lot of people lose out because we’re not having the classic this year,” said event organizer Fred Jones.

Jones told FOX13 The Classic normally brings more than $25 million into the local economy each year. Vendors come from across the country to participate in one of the city’s biggest celebrations.

WATCH: Memphis missing out on millions after Southern Heritage Classic canceled due to COVID-19

“It touches people large and small, catering companies, down to the people who shine shoes, wash cars,” said Jones.

Jones said all hope is not lost. He’s hosting a Southern Heritage Classic Rewind virtual event where you can enjoy the game and halftime show from 2017.

That’s taking place Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

You can watch the virtual event HERE.