COLUMBIA - Community organizers confirmed Friday efforts to start a "Tiger Town" business zone for football Saturdays this fall have fallen through due to the lack of bar owner support and funding.
"We needed everybody to be excited and on board with that but it was clear some downtown business and bars were not thrilled or on board, and with a large project like this you need that support," said Greg Steinhoff, one of the organizers promoting Tiger Town.
Tiger Town would have consisted of a blocked-off part of downtown where out-of-towners could feel welcome, eat and drink, and make their visit for football games more enjoyable. The organizers expected large numbers of SEC fans to travel to the city for football tailgating and games.
"The whole idea was for out-of-towners to have a place to come and focus their activities," said Steinhoff.
One local bar owner talked to KOMU 8 News anonymously, so as not to come off as mean-spirited, feeling Tiger Town would have done more harm than good for business.
"All of the downtown area felt they could handle the crowds, and we were right not as many out-of-towners came, students couldn't afford to travel all the way up here this year," said the local bar owner.
Bar owners don't want the blame for Tiger Town's demise. Instead, they said they saw it as competition rather than a help for business.
"What we need is just more trash containers and sanitation workers, a long with porta-potties and transportation to and from the stadium," said the local bar owner.