- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
Bristol Speedway unveils plan for Vols-Hokies game
Question of the Day
BRISTOL, TENN. (AP) - Tennessee and Virginia Tech will finally play a football game at Bristol Motor Speedway and expect to set a single-game football attendance record in what is being billed as the “Battle at Bristol.”
Track and officials from both universities formally announced the plans Monday amid confetti and fireworks during a festive news conference at the 52-year-old racetrack. The game is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2016.
Bristol Motor Speedway general manager and executive vice president Jerry Caldwell said seating capacity for the game would be in excess of 150,000. The track sits nearly halfway between the campuses of the two schools, off Interstate 81 in Tennessee.
The NCAA-recognized attendance record for college football of 115,109 was set last month at Michigan Stadium for Michigan-Notre Dame.
Bristol’s proximity to both campuses made this event a rumored possibility since the 1990s. Weaver remembers discussing it with former Volunteers athletic directors Doug Dickey and Mike Hamilton.
“It’s a chance and opportunity to be part of something extremely special that will live with you for a lifetime,” said Tennessee coach Butch Jones, who was grand marshal of the Food City 500 at the Bristol speedway in March.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer drove on the Bristol speedway as part of a charity celebrity race in 2009 and remembers sitting in the Bristol bleachers watching races as a high school student.
“Next to Lane Stadium, this is my favorite sports venue, I promise you,” Beamer said.
The game was announced amid great fanfare, though a scheduling conflict prevented BMS track owner and president Bruton Smith from attending. Beamer, Weaver, Jones, Hart and track officials sat on a giant stage on the racetrack’s infield. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam offered videotaped messages.
“We want to make this a huge, huge deal,” Smith had told The Associated Press. “Our goal is to set a world record for the largest attended football game in the world.”
To the left of the stage, numbers and yard markers were painted on the infield to create an asphalt football field, complete with artificial turf end zones featuring the Tennessee checkerboard on one side and Virginia Tech lettering on the other end. To the right were race cars in Virginia Tech and Tennessee school colors bearing the number ‘16.
“If you have an opportunity to play in a venue that’s going to set the all-time record for football at every level _ the largest crowd potentially to ever witness a football game _ well, you can talk about that for the rest of your life,” Hart said.
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- Doctor, 2 others shot at Pennsylvania hospital: reports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq