Apparently fed up that they could only crush 100,000+ Volunteers fans inside Neyland Stadium, the University of Tennessee has decided to play a football game against Virginia Tech inside the cavernous Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016.
The approximate number of people who could attend a game in Bristol? 160,000.
ESPN’s Joe Schad tweeted out the arrangement yesterday afternoon, confirming a long-standing rumor about the game. Now, Tennessee and Virginia Tech aren’t quote-on-quote rivals, despite the schools’ relative proximity. However, Bristol’s spot – 110 miles from Knoxville and 133 miles from Blacksburg, Virginia – is nearly equidistant between the two campuses. It’s also a straight shot from either campus along I-81, making the game a breeze to reach for Vols and Hokies fans.
Where the field will be located within the venue is unknown. Chances are they’ll place it within the infield, which will need grass since it’s all asphalt. And while a sold-out crowd would easily best the previous college football single-game attendance record (115,109 at Michigan stadium this year for Michigan-Notre Dame), the game’s official numbers will still pale in comparison to several international soccer matches* and motorsports events**.
Still, it’s an incredibly audacious task to take on and would give SEC (and, I suppose, ACC) fans one more record to beat their chests over. And they’ll beat their f*cking chests. According to Tennessee resident-in-chief, Gotty, this is what the game’s crowd make-up could be like: “It’s gonna be a bunch of drunk rednecks and regular white folks that weekend buddy, let me tell you lmao.”
One-hundred and sixty thousand of ’em. FOOTBAWWWWWWWL.
* – Unofficial numbers for a Brazil-Uruguay 1950 World Cup match at the Maracana list 199,854 having attended; although this hasn’t exactly been confirmed, it’s not farfetched considering the sport and countries involved
** – Indianapolis’ Motor Speedway can hold up to 400,000 during a large event like the Indy 500