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Bristol game could be worth over $4 million each to Vols, Hokies

Battle at Bristol

As expected, there are quite a few zeros involved in the decision to hold a football game at a NASCAR racetrack.

By way of an open records request, Evan Woodbery of the Knoxville News Sentinel obtained a copy of the contract agreed upon by Tennessee and Virginia Tech for the 2016 game at Bristol Motor Speedway.

According to that contract, each school will receive an allotment of 40,000 tickets.  If each school sells all of its allotted tickets, they would receive $4 million apiece.  The guarantee drops to $3.75 million if 32,500 tickets are sold, $3.5 million for 25,000 sold.

Given the proximity of both campuses to the neutral site game — each is a roughly two-hour drive to Bristol, Tennessee — both schools are expected to sell out of the tickets allocated to them.

Additionally, each school would receive an additional $300,000 apiece if the game is a sellout.  The official capacity at BMS is 160,000.  If the game is shy of a sellout, there are also bonuses for a crowd of 132,500-plus ($200,000) and 125,000-132,499 ($100,000).

BMS, which as stated in the contract reserves the right to sell alcohol during the game, has purchased an insurance policy that would guarantee each team would receive $4 million should the game be canceled “due to unsafe field conditions, logistical concerns, or errors on the part of BMS in preparation for the game.”  If the game were to be cancelled due to “acts of God or natural disaster,” BMS reserves the right to withhold one-third of the $4 million guaranteed to each team.

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11 Responses to “Bristol game could be worth over $4 million each to Vols, Hokies”
  1. burm61 says: Oct 15, 2013 11:17 AM

    A very overlooked aspect to this game is a lot of college football “insiders” believe VaTech will be the next team to join the SEC. This could be a conference game if VT decides they’re leaving in the next year or so.

  2. classyjacklambert says: Oct 15, 2013 11:30 AM

    I can’t really see va tech jumping to the SEC but stranger things have happened. There are always rumors though.

  3. v2the4 says: Oct 15, 2013 12:48 PM

    now that Bristol Motor speedway is doing this, you can bet the Texas motor speedway, Daytona, Las Vegas, Atlanta and the Indianapolis will all piggyback on this idea and have a nuetral site game on their locations as well.

    Indy can fit 257k…imagine a Michigan/Notre Dame game, an Ohio St/Mighigan game or a B1G/SEC game up there?

    Texas MS can fit 191k…they should work on the renewal of the Texas/Texas A&M game for 2019 right now….imagine the kind of money that game can produce for both teams? or, when the Red River Rivalry contract runs out at the cotton bowl, move the game over there instead of to Jerrys World.

    This could open the floodgates for so much money for a one time game…this should be a hit

    as for VaTech or anyone from the ACC switching conferences to the SEC, B1G or Big 12 in the future, they will have to pony up a $50M buyout fee first, and the tv rights belong to the ACC until 2025…, if VaTech could potentially lose $200M plus on the deal unless the courts relieve them of the obligation….

    dont see that happening unless 13 of the 16 conference presidents vote in favor of blowing up the deal.

  4. wustlumdnj says: Oct 15, 2013 1:03 PM

    The part of the story CFT isn’t picking up is that estimates were $20 million per team at the height of NASCAR popularity in ’05

  5. wustlumdnj says: Oct 15, 2013 1:03 PM

  6. wustlumdnj says: Oct 15, 2013 1:04 PM

    Here’s a better source for the $20 million per team offering in 2005

  7. txstatebobcats1868 says: Oct 15, 2013 2:32 PM

    @ V2theV4

    they’re not gonna move that game to jerry’s world, it takes away the whole point of having it during the Texas State fair which surrounds it..

  8. cometkazie says: Oct 15, 2013 3:45 PM

    Is that Tennessee’s money or do they have to share it with the SEC?

    I saw the layout for the game and it appears the stands are quite a distance from the field.

  9. v2the4 says: Oct 15, 2013 3:46 PM

    txstate..I know the whole reason is to have the game at the cotton bowl is for the atmosphere of the Texas state fair….the teams are locked into the cotton bowl until 2020 at a price of only $500k per team

    the cotton bowl underwent $25.5M of work during the off season,but its still old and needs major work to remain competitive… but once that contract comes up, then it could be open season…

  10. dcroz says: Oct 15, 2013 9:14 PM

    Everyone is hyperventilating over the possibility of this being such a huge game in terms of attendance…and yet, I think this is going to lay a massive egg. First of all, Tennessee would have to be a really good team by then, because Vols fans stay away in droves from Neyland Stadium if Tennessee is mediocre or worse; I can’t imagine them being any more enthusiastic about driving to Bristol if expectations are not high. I don’t know if Virginia Tech would bring many more itself. Second, just looking at the artist’s conception of how the field will be laid out makes it obvious most of those seats are going to require a good pair of binoculars to see what’s going on; I’m guessing a lot of other folks who would otherwise attend are going to figure that out themselves and just watch it at home. And that brings me to the final point, which is that even great teams with massive fan bases are having a hard time filling stadiums now because the experience at home on large HDTVs is better (not to mention much cheaper) than going to the game. No better example of that was this past weekend at the LSU-Florida game, where there were empty seats despite how huge a game it was and how rabid Tigers fans are. Perhaps by then the folks promoting this game will figure out a way to make this an experience that folks will not want to miss; until then, though, count me as highly skeptical that this will be as successful as people hope.

  11. charger383 says: Oct 16, 2013 10:57 PM

    Virginia Tech can fill the racetrack

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