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1997 Tennessee Oilers season

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Head coach  Jeff Fisher
Division place  3rd AFC Central
Record  8–8
Playoff finish  did not qualify
Home field  Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

The 1997 season the Tennessee Oilers season and their 28th in the National Football League (The NFL). The Oilers finished the season with 8 wins and 8 losses, and did not qualify for the playoffs. The head coach was Jeff Fisher, and the team played their home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The 1997 season was the first season that the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers, following their move from Houston.

Regular season

The Oilers' new stadium would not be ready until 1999, however, and the largest stadium in Nashville at the time, Vanderbilt Stadium on the campus of Vanderbilt University, seated only 41,000. At first, Bud Adams rejected Vanderbilt Stadium even as a temporary facility and announced that the renamed Tennessee Oilers would play the next two seasons at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. The team would be based in Nashville, commuting to Memphis only for games—in effect, consigning the Oilers to 32 road games for the next two years. Even though this arrangement was acceptable to the NFL and the Oilers at the time, few people in either Memphis or Nashville were pleased by it. Memphis had made numerous attempts to get an NFL team (including the Memphis Hound Dogs and the Memphis Grizzlies court case), and many people in the area wanted nothing to do with a team that would be lost in only two years—especially to longtime rival Nashville. Conversely, Nashvillians showed little inclination to drive over 200 miles (300 km) to see "their" team. As a result, attendance at the Liberty Bowl was disastrous: fewer than 18,000 fans came to the stadium to see the Oilers, a number smaller than the attendance figures the team was getting in Houston after they had announced the move, and smaller than the fan bases the USFL's Memphis Showboats and XFL's Memphis Maniax would draw to the same stadium (although this was larger than the attendance for the CFL's Memphis Mad Dogs).

References

1997 Tennessee Oilers season Wikipedia


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