Tennessee State University fans excited for Classic weekend

Tens of thousands of supporters of TSU are expected to fill Music City this weekend.
Tens of thousands of supporters of TSU are expected to fill Music City this weekend.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 7:17 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - An exciting weekend is on tap for Tennessee State University as they prepare to kick off the 25th annual John A. Merritt Classic.

Thousands are expected to fill Music City for the matchup against Gardner-Webb University.

Anticipation filled TSU’s campus Friday evening as hundreds gathered for a pep rally at the school’s football stadium.

“This is a good environment to be in,” student Allen Johnson said. “The culture, everything that we do here, it’s amazing.”

In the days leading up to the game, several events have been held on campus and throughout Nashville. One of those events included a pop-up shop for local black-owned businesses. The event was organized by Javon Jones of Nashville Black Market.

“We wanted to just empower TSU, along with these other vendors, businesses to try to promote, just cross-promote to be able to collab on that situation,” Jones said.

For those participating in the week-long festivities surrounding the John A. Merritt Classic, they say this is not just a sporting event, it’s an opportunity to showcase their school spirit while also connecting with classmates and friends.

“HBCU classic is a family reunion. It’s an opportunity for us really showcase the uniqueness about HBCU, the prominent one that we have In the great city of Nashville in Tennessee State,” TSU athletic director Dr. Mikki Allen said.

The game kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, but tailgating is taking place all day at Nissan Stadium.