Monster Jam is coming to Thompson-Boling Arena, January 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday the 17th, the event will host a pit party allowing fans to visit the pits and meet their favorite drivers. For Ed Eckert the event will be a homecoming of sorts. Eckert is a Knoxville native that drives Full Boar. Eckert became a fan of the monster trucks 28 years ago and took to the competitive circuit 14 years after building his own truck.
“Thompson-Boling is my home show,” said Eckert. “I live in Knoxville near Straw Plains. We will be flying the Tennessee Flag from our truck.”
Creating a monster truck show is a task that is almost as gargantuan as the vehicles themselves. To construct the track eight men will work 18-20 hours over a three day period carefully laying out more than 700 cubic yards of dirt that will cover the floor of the arena. As many as 200 dump truck loads of dirt will be brought in for the event.
Full-sized cars, vans, school buses and motor homes will be brought in from local junkyards that will be destroyed by the trucks as the roll over and smash the cars to the delight of the fans. Each year more than 3,000 cars are brought in and destroyed by the trucks at events all across the nation. The average budget for a monster truck team is more than $250,000.
These massive fuel-guzzling trucks sport a supercharged fuel injected big block American V8 and consume a staggering amount of fuel. The trucks burn seven gallons for each mile they travel.
The trucks stand a staggering 12 feet high and weigh as much as 10,000 pounds. The truck engines measure as much as 2,000 horsepower and reach a top speed of 70 miles an hour. The average truck will go through five engines a year. Each truck cost as much as $600,000 to build, staff and compete. The teams will travel more than 45,000 miles per year. More than four million fans across the nation will attend monster truck events each year.
“Six trucks will compete at the Thompson-Boling Arena,” said Eckert. “We will be competing in three competitions including donuts, wheelies and racing.”
The 90 minute event is the first in the series for the year leading up to the world finals in Las Vegas where 30 trucks will compete. For ticket information call 865-656-4444 or 877-995-9961 or visit the web Site at www.tbarena.com.