BRISTOL, Tenn. – Tennessee and Virginia Tech will finally play a football game at Bristol Motor Speedway and expect to set a single-game football attendance record in what is being billed as the “Battle at Bristol.”
Officials from both universities and the track formally announced the plans Monday amid confetti and fireworks during a festive news conference at the 52-year-old racetrack. The game is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2016.
“I full well believe we’ll play in front of the largest crowd to ever watch or have watched a football game – that’s college and pro,” Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver said.
Bristol Motor Speedway general manager and executive vice president Jerry Caldwell said seating capacity for the game would be in excess of 150,000. The track sits nearly halfway between the campuses of the two schools, off Interstate 81 in Tennessee.
The NCAA-recognized attendance record for college football of 115,109 was set last month at Michigan Stadium for Michigan-Notre Dame.
To accommodate a football field, the speedway will need modifications, some of which will happen as soon as next year, Caldwell said. A massive video board that sits atop a pylon in the middle of the infield will be taken out, Caldwell said.