Bristol Motor Speedway Set to Host College American Football Game

October 10, 2013

A crowd of 160,000 could fill NASCAR’s Bristol Motor Speedway to watch a American Football college game between Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee.

The two schools have reportedly agreed to play a non-conference game at the venue in 2016, with Bristol’s seated capacity of 160,000 far higher than the record 115,109 fans that filled Michigan Stadium last month for Michigan University v Notre Dame.

The idea of staging a college game at Bristol goes back almost a decade, but it will only become a reality in three years’ time.

In 2005, track owner Bruton Smith offered Virginia Tech and Tennessee $20 million each to stage a non-conference game at the track, however Tennessee was reluctant and never engaged with the offer despite Virginia Tech willing to work on the concept.

While the entire infield is concrete and asphalt for the benefit of NASCAR races, roll-in technology could be utilised in place of growing a field of grass.

The University of Phoenix Stadium, which hosts the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, has a roll-in grass field which allows the grass to grow evenly under sunlight as opposed to sitting under the retractable roof.

This wouldn’t be the first game of American football held at Bristol Motor Speedway.

When the track first opened in 1961, it hosted an NFL pre-season game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.