World's Fastest...Football Field? Bristol To Host VT-Tenn Game
Bristol Motor Speedway will transform from the World's Fastest Half-Mile to the World's Largest College Football field as Virginia Tech is scheduled to play Tennesse at the "Last Great Colosseum" Sept. 10, 2016.
By Jay Pennell
An artist's rendering of Bristol Motor Speedway tranformed for the Virginia Tech.-Tennessee NCAA football game scheduled for Sept. 10, 2016.
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway has played host to some of the biggest rivalries in sports.
Earnhardt vs. Wallace. Earnhardt vs. Labonte. Gordon vs. Kenseth. Edwards vs. Busch. Stewart vs. Kenseth. There's just something about the "Last Great Colosseum" that brings out the best -- and worst -- in competitors.
On Sept. 10, 2016, Bristol can add Virginia Tech vs. Tennesse to that long list of epic rivalries.
Track and school officials, confirmed the rumors Monday morning, announcing the inaugural Battle at Bristol, College Football's Biggest EVER.
Located approximately halfway between Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee, Bristol will play host to this "border battle" in what is sure to become one of the biggest rivalries in college football.
With an estimated seating capacity of 150,000, it is expected the 'Battle at Bristol' will become the largest-attended college football game in history, surpassing the previous record of 117,000 fans.
"There has always been a desire by fans to see a football game at our historic speedway," said Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. "We couldn't be more excited to turn this long-time rumor into a reality and to provide sports fans with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the biggest college football game ever."
Following the 2016 August night race at Bristol, crews will immediately go to work transforming the speedway into a suitable college football playing surface, which will include cleaning, pressure washing, adding turf and buiding the field.
It is estimated 8,500 tons of rock will be used to build the base of the playing surface. According to the track, the base rock will "be 3'-6" deep in the middle of the infield tapering to 1-1/2' on sidelines to create the proper sloping effect for drainage."
"This is an unprecedented opportunity for our football program to play in front of the largest crowd in the history of college football," said Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics for University of Tennessee, David Hart. "Bristol Motor Speedway will be perhaps the most unique venue to ever host a college football game. Tennessee students, faculty, alumni and fans will look forward to being a part of this great event."
"To be able to play in front of a crowd that is the largest to ever see a college football game is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech head coach. "With the great fan support that Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee have, it should be a great atmosphere.
Kasey Kahne's spotter, Kevin Hamlin, just wants to know if his NASCAR credential will get him into the game.
I wonder if our hard cards get us into the Bristol football game?
Pyrotechnics fill the sky at Bristol Motor Speedway on Oct. 14, 2013 in Bristol, Tenn. Bristol Motor Speedway plans to transform the legendary Speedway into the world's largest football stadium for the inaugural Battle at Bristol, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. The event will feature a game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers and is projected to set the NCAA record for highest single-game attendance.