Grizz Watch Party Planned for Saturday in Handy Park

By Bill Dries

The Memphis Grizzlies-San Antonio Spurs basketball playoff game at FedExForum Saturday, May 25, is sold out.

But the game will be broadcast on big LED television screens a block away in Handy Park, in the Beale Street entertainment district.

Grizz arrives on Mud Island Thursday to kick off Operation Grit, Grind and Shine.

(Photo: Bill Dries)

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced the street party for a busy night Downtown in which the Memphis in May International Festival Sunset Symphony will be underway in Tom Lee Park as the Grizzlies play.

Wharton announced the TV watch party Thursday afternoon as he raised four gold banners and two blue Grizzlies flags on the flagpoles on the southern end of Mud Island River Park.

On the other side of the Wolf River harbor, a huge banner featuring the Grizzlies logo and slogan “Believe Memphis” was going up on the river side of the AutoZone building.

“Now is our time to shine, and that’s what the flags are all about,” Wharton said. “We’re calling it Operation Grit, Grind and Shine.”

He also urged Downtown office and apartment buildings to leave lights on over the Memorial Day weekend as part of the civic operation and to show off the city’s skyline during the television broadcast.

“We’re not a revolutionary city. Nothing happens overnight. We are an evolutionary city,” Wharton said later of the possible lasting impact of the playoff on the city’s image. “That’s just who we are.”

The TV screens on Beale Street are going up with the support of the Beale Street Merchants Association and the Greater Memphis Chamber.