The last time Virginia Tech played the University of Tennessee in a regular season game, the year was 1937. The Vols shellacked the Hokies 27-0 on their way to a 6-3-1 overall record. A Wikipedia search for “1937 Virginia Tech football” only yielded a proposition that I create an entry for the topic, so I’m assuming the Hokies fared far worse that year.
Disregarding the 2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl that saw the Hokies run the Volunteers out of the Georgia Dome 37-14, it looks as if 2016 will finally afford VT their first regular season shot at redemption in 79 years. When it happens, the renewed rivalry game will be played in front of purportedly the largest crowd to ever witness an NCAA Football contest.
Confirmed yesterday evening, Bristol Motor Speedway (usually reserved to hosting NASCAR, NHRA and sprint car races) will play host to a bout between the two teams. The famed, incredibly banked, half-mile track is situated virtually on the Virginia/Tennessee state line, providing a perfect impartial venue for the game. Having witnessed firsthand a race or two there in my day, I can attest to the loudness and raucous crowd that Bristol breeds. Simply put, the atmosphere accompanying this game is going to be incredible.
Officials are already predicting the NCAA attendance record to be shattered given the speedway’s capacity of ~165,000 patrons. Should Bristol fill to its rims on a date in 2016 that is yet to be confirmed, it’ll trounce on the previous spectator record of 115,109, which was set earlier this September when Notre Dame traveled to Ann Arbor only to have 41 put up on them in a loss against the Wolverines.
An official press conference and announcement is set to take place at Bristol Motor Speedway this coming Monday afternoon, but evidently, hosting a football game at the speedway has long been a goal of the track’s owner, Bruton Smith.
According to Bleacher Report, Smith apparently offered each team $20 million to participate in the contest in 2005, but the idea fell off the bandwagon due to stalling negotiations.
When the game happens, it won’t be the first time that Bristol has played host to football. In 1961, coinciding with the year it opened, Bristol saw the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Washington Redskins in a preseason contest.
If anyone has any insider ticket connection for this gem, let me know. This is one I won’t want to miss.
[via Bleacher Report]
Image via TurboMirage