BRISTOL (press release)—The Bristol Motor Speedway, in just over a year from now, will transform the legendary speedway into the world’s largest football stadium for the inaugural Battle at Bristol, college football’s largest in attendance game to be held September 10, 2016. The event will feature a border battle between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers and is projected to set the NCAA record for highest single-game attendance.
With an estimated seating capacity of 150,000, the Battle at Bristol is on track to crush prior college football attendance records. The previous two largest-attended college football games drew 117,000 and 115,000 fans, respectively.
“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.”
Bristol Motor Speedway has a rich history of epic clashes and rivalries. It’s only fitting that the inaugural event will feature a border battle between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tennessee Volunteers. This is a “border battle” in the literal sense, as the state line runs through downtown Bristol, creating the twin cities of Bristol, Va. and Bristol, Tenn.
Over the course of a few weeks, the speedway will transform from an iconic short track to a world-class football field. Immediately following the August 2016 NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway, approximately 400 workers will immediately begin bulk cleaning and detailing the speedway. Next, an estimated 10 to 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.
The transformation of the speedway to a college football field is such a short length of time could be almost as exciting as the actual game.