2019 AAC Championship Tournament Guide To Memphis
Are you a college basketball fan in town for the American Athletic Conference 2019 Championship Tournament? This article is just for you! Think of it as your handy dandy cheat sheet for what to do in Memphis, where to eat in Memphis, and how to enjoy your time in our fair city.
Here’s everything you need to know about the tournament games at FedExForum, what to do in Memphis, where to eat in Memphis, and other tips for this weekend specifically.
The 2019 Air Force Reserve American Men’s Basketball Championship is Thursday, March 14 through Sunday, March 17. All the games are at FedExForum in downtown Memphis on Beale Street, which is about to be crazy.
Games start on Thursday, of course. Quarterfinals are on Friday, Semifinals are on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and the Conference Championship is Sunday at 2:15 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.
For Memphis Tigers fans: Coach Penny leads us against Tulane on Thursday at 2 p.m.
You can get parking passes for FedExForum, and there are plenty of parking garages and street parking in downtown Memphis, though I expect things to get a little crazy. If you’re staying downtown, look into walking, taking a trolley, or renting a bike or scooter to get to the arena. You can always use ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft if you’re coming from outside of downtown.
Things To Do In Memphis
Can I really narrow it down to 5 things? Watch me try. For a much more detailed version of this cheat sheet, including tips and tricks and a list of places to eat, please click here.
1. Get A Dose Of Memphis Music History at Graceland, Sun Studio, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. If you’re looking to stay close to downtown or don’t have a ton of time, check out the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum (right by FedExForum), the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, or the Blues Fall of Hame.
2. Eat BBQ. Everyone has a different opinion on where’s the best. A few faves: The Rendezvous Central BBQ, The Bar-B-Q Shop, Tops BBQ, Payne’s BBQ, Cozy Corner BBQ. Rendezvous and Central are in the downtown core, and Cozy Corner isn’t far.
3. Do the Tourist Things. Stop by Beale Street Landing, Tom Lee Park, Big River Crossing (where you can walk across the Mississippi River), then see the Mighty Lights at night. Ride Explore Bike Share bike, see the ducks at the Peabody Hotel, go to Beale Street (will be VERY lively on Saturday for St. Patrick’s day) and take a picture at an I Love Memphis mural. Check out the full list here.
4. Attractions and Tours. Check out the top-ranked Memphis Zoo, National Civil Rights Museum, Crosstown Concourse (not too far from downtown and you need to eat at Global Cafe!), Shelby Farms Park, the Dixon Gallery & Gardens and the Memphis Botanic Gardens.
You have lots of great options for tours of Memphis: check out the list here.
5. Wild Card. This one depends on your interests! Ride the elevator at the Bass Pro Pyramid, hear live music at our many venues, drink local beer and the Old Dominick Distillery, take the kids to the Children’s Museum or Pink Palace. Then, check out this guide to theater, dance, opera, and more performing arts.
Where To Eat In Memphis
You could ask 50 Memphians where the best places to eat in Memphis are, and you’d get 50 different answers. I know; I’ve done it. However, let me give you some guidance.
- You must try some barbecue. See #2 in the list above.
- Southern and soul food classics: Four Way Soul Food Restaurant in South Memphis, Gus’s Fried Chicken downtown, Uncle Lou’s in Whitehaven, Alcenia’s downtown (set aside plenty of extra time).
- Looking for late-night eats in Memphis? Check out this guide.
- Need to eat something on Beale Street? Locals recommend Blues City, Miss Polly’s, B.B. King’s, Dyer’s for famous late-night burgers, and Itta Bena for fancy dinner.
- Looking for brunch? Check out this guide.
- Vegetarian? Guide here.
- Want to check out the local breweries? Guide here.
- Got specific questions or needs? Leave a comment on this blog post, send me a Tweet at @ilovememphis, or a comment on Instagram @ilovememphisblog.
- It’s St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, so if you want to join in the festivities, you can check out that guide here. The major thing is the parade on Saturday at noon, which will take over Beale Street.
- Memphis has a new United Soccer League team called the 901FC and we play a home game in AutoZonePark (where our Triple-A baseball team also plays) on Saturday at 7 p.m. If you want to switch sports, the tickets are cheap and the atmosphere is awesome. Read more.
- I fully expect it to be bonkers this weekend, but Raiford’s is a once-in-a-lifetime dance club experience.
Hope you have a blast!