Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee, will host a college football game in 2016 that will attempt to set the NCAA record for highest single-game attendance. The “Battle at Bristol” will match the University of Tennessee against Virginia Tech University on September 10, 2016.
Organizers are hoping to fill the speedway, which can seat 150,000. The current record is 115,109 who attended the Michigan–Notre Dame game in September.
“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.”
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our football program to play in front of the largest crowd in the history of college football,” said Dave Hart, vice chancellor and director of athletics for the University of Tennessee. “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.”
“This event should be a very exciting experience for both universities and the fan bases of both teams,” said Jim Weaver, athletic director of Virginia Tech. “We are very excited to be a participant in what should be the largest crowd ever to see a football game.”
Key facts about the transformation of the speedway from track to football field include:
Immediately following the August 2016 NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway, approximately 400 workers will begin bulk cleaning, and then detailing the speedway;
Next an estimated 10-12 crews will begin pressure washing—a process that is normally done in February prior to the March NASCAR weekend;
Separate crews will clean all suites in seven days—a process that normally takes four-to-six weeks;
Turf and field build will be completed in eight days;
Approximately 8,500 tons of rock will be used to build the base of the field;
The rock will be brought in by approximately 400 truckloads. The complete haul-in process will take three, 10-12 hour days;
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