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Reports: Tennessee, Virginia Tech to play at Bristol Motor Speedway

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We have seen college football played in NFL stadiums and baseball cathedrals, in Europe and soon in the Bahamas. What’s next? How about Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee? It appears that could be in the works for 2016.

According to multiple reports from Joe Schad of and Bruce Feldman of, Tennessee and Virginia Tech are expected to make a formal announcement on Monday with details for a regular season game at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016.

The two schools attempted to schedule a game in Bristol years ago but a 2005 attempt ultimately fell apart due to scheduling conflicts. The owners of Bristol Motor Speedway insisted the proposed game would have to take place in November because the infield would need to be renovated and have a new turf installed following an annual race in the venue. Of course, November is when conference schedules are already in full swing, and the two or three sides were never able to work out a plan to follow through on. The interest, however, was never truly fading.

The two schools would be traveling close to the same distance for the game as well, which is part of the reason a huge crowd would be expected for the game. Tennessee’s campus in Knoxville is located 110 miles from Bristol Motor Speedway. Virginia Tech’s campus is 133 miles away. Bristol Motor Speedway has a seating capacity of 160,000. Feldman says an expected crowd of over 150,000 is already to be expected for the special regular season game. The stadium is set up well for football with a round track, and if this game goes off without much of a hitch, perhaps we will see other race tracks begin to explore the possibility of hosting a college football game. If the interest is there and the draw is right, this would certainly not be a shock at all.

The game would be the highlight of the non-conference schedule for Virginia Tech, who currently has games with Liberty and East Carolina along with having Notre Dame on the ACC schedule rotation. Tennessee currently has Connecticut and a road game at Nebraska on the 2016 non-conference schedule, so adding a game in Bristol would seem to make Tennessee’s non-conference schedule one of the more interesting ones in 2016.

The first three weeks of September of the schedules are already booked with other opponents between the two schools, and Virginia Tech’s game against Notre Dame is locked in to November. Will this game be able to be played in September, or will there be a way to work out a date in November of 2016?

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14 Responses to “Reports: Tennessee, Virginia Tech to play at Bristol Motor Speedway”
  1. manik56 says: Oct 9, 2013 7:08 PM

    I recall this was being discussed back in ’99 after Tennessee won the NC. Sounds like an awesome idea to me. Bruton Smith would be good for college football.

  2. justanobserver says: Oct 9, 2013 7:11 PM

    Why?!!!!!! Because it should be done; or it can be done; or for some other ridiculous promoter’s reason(s)?

    Is college football at Tenn and/or Va Tech in such a bad state? Frankly, I don’t think it is and hopefully more rational minds at both schools will see this Barnum & Bailey joke for what it is — a doofus idea of the first magnitude.

    Keep college football what it is. The greatest game and show on earth — that doesn’t need the gimmicks of the huckster element or the corrupt NFL-types who would sell their wives and mothers for a buck.

  3. charger383 says: Oct 9, 2013 8:43 PM

    They will fill it up. 160,000+

  4. floridacock says: Oct 9, 2013 9:35 PM

    Watching a car race is one thing, football another. I would hate to pay good money for an end zone upper row seat. Good luck on seeing anything on the far end of the field.

  5. chiggerticky says: Oct 9, 2013 11:05 PM

    Sounds like a helluva party to me. Maybe some of them ol’ boys in Cocke County, TN, can start stowing enough ‘shine to provide refreshment.

  6. cranespy says: Oct 10, 2013 12:18 AM

    Heard it years ago and hated to see it disappear… WILL sell out… Bruton how about Caps vs Canes or Pens at BMS…..bring hockey to the hills??!!!!!!

  7. cranespy says: Oct 10, 2013 12:19 AM

    Then Skins vs Titans………or how about……UK vs Duke bball????

  8. breezysmeezy says: Oct 10, 2013 2:13 AM

    They should do it while having a car race there

  9. armstrongsmissingball says: Oct 10, 2013 5:01 AM

    I am not from either state or a fan of either school but would consider attending a game like this just for the atmosphere. Sounds interesting. Could play an MSU v UM game at MIS would be crazy…200,000 people would show up for that.

  10. justanobserver says: Oct 10, 2013 5:56 AM

    They should do it while having a car race there

    I agree with you breezy. And to complete the three ring circus atmosphere we could throw in a Presidential debate; or a Billy Graham Crusade appearance; hold the Miss America pageant at the site; or better still, complete the circus atmosphere by bringing in the Olympic Games.

    Maybe Jerry Jones could be commissioned to erect a world class tent to house it all.

  11. ronm1963 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:04 AM

    @justanobserver says:
    Oct 9, 2013 7:11 PM
    Why?!!!!!! Because it should be done; or it can be done; or for some other ridiculous promoter’s reason(s)?

    Amen, brother!

  12. classyjacklambert says: Oct 10, 2013 7:06 AM

    This is one of the few times that I actually think the gimmick is a good idea. Bistol Motor Speedway is a short track and should be a great environment located right between the two schools.

  13. sportsdrenched says: Oct 10, 2013 9:44 AM

    As a NASCAR and College Football fan I thought this would be a good idea 10 years ago when the rumors first surfaced. I was disapointed when that game fell through in 2005. I don’t have a rooting interest in either school. I but I am seriously considering the road trip from middle America to attend this one.

    That type of road trip will supply enough stories I won’t have to repeat any of them.

  14. hoffenstein14 says: Oct 10, 2013 11:58 AM

    Are some of you seriously asking why like this is a bad idea?
    Are you nuts!

    This will be the largest football game ever. It will be the best atmosphere ever for a college football game.

    Why does FLA vs GA play in Jacksonville? How about Texas vs Oklahoma? or the kickoff classic at the Georgia Dome?

    It’s not like this is a totally new concept, it is just taking it up a huge notch with the largest crowd ever(by far) and a NASCAR like atmosphere.

    Imagine being able to sell to recruits for the next 2 years that they will be able to play in this game! This will greatly benefit both programs.

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