Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 10/14/13
It has been discussed since the late 1990s, and it is now reality. Tennessee will play Virginia Tech at the 160,000-seat Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 10, 2016. The iconic racing venue sits on the Tennessee/Virginia border, just over 100 miles from the campuses of both schools. Through the years, BMS’s capacity steadily expanded before becoming NASCAR’s first fully enclosed facility. Racing fans need no introduction to Bristol, which hosts two race weekends per year. The Cup race in late-March for years sold out despite frequent wintry conditions. The track was one of the first to install lights and the late-August date became the toughest ticket in any sport, even more so than a Super Bowl or Final Four. With its half-mile configuration and 24 to 30 degree banking, races at Bristol became the most anticipated in stock car racing. That was before the NASCAR bubble burst a few years back. Now, the spring Cup race just reaches over half of capacity and even the August race does not sell out. Something is needed to fill the bowl. Hello college football. Bristol Speedway owner Bruton Smith has pushed for Tennessee-Virginia Tech football in recent years, at one point offering $20 million to each school. There are logistical questions. With the traditional late-March/late-August dates, it has been assumed that college football would have to wait until later in the season, possibly late October or November. With the Sept. 10 date, 2016 is far enough in the distance that BMS could switch race dates for one year. Many race fans clamor for the fall Bristol race to be held later in the season, during the 10-week “Chase for the Cup.” The other concern is configuring a football field. There are obviously garages, a media center topped with an area where Victory Lane celebrations are held, and an infield care center. There is an outdated scoring pylon/video board in the center of the infield. I figure that could be removed and replaced by a much larger video board. Smith has already installed a video board at Charlotte Motor Speedway and is installing another at its sister track Texas Motor Speedway. Both screens will be larger than the Dallas Cowboys video board. With the elevated banking, I imagine the garage and other structures can remain while obstructing few existing seats. Then there are the football programs. Tennessee is coming off some down seasons and Virginia Tech gets overlooked on a national scale. Both schools could use the bump from recruiting and financial angles. Tennessee and Virginia Tech need Bristol Speedway as much as Bristol Speedway needs them. At the very least, the game will sell out as a one-off, and maybe even as a yearly occurrence. Smith (who dreams big) has even considered a temporary dome for ball and stick events (a permanent lid presents a carbon dioxide nightmare for racing). NBA All-Star Game anyone? Or even an NHL Winter Classic (without the lid). For football, the seats will not be THAT far away. It will just be a little more distant than the old Soldier Field configuration, which once hosted its own NASCAR event and unofficially has the distinction of having football’s largest crowds ever, as approximately 120,000 attended a pair of Notre Dame games held in the 1920s. College football at Thunder Valley will be a blast. It will be fun to see the winning team do a victory lap.   The post Tennessee and Virginia Tech will play football at Bristol Motor Speedway appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message


Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker