Bristol Motor Speedway announced plans to transform its legendary racetrack into the world's largest football stadium for the inaugural Battle at Bristol in 2016.
The event will feature a border battle between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers and is projected to set the NCAA record for highest single-game attendance.
The announcement was made Monday during a press conference on-site in Bristol, Tenn., and attended by UT coach Butch Jones, as well as athletic director Dave Hart and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer.
With an estimated seating capacity of 150,000, the Battle at Bristol is on track to crush prior college football attendance records. The previous two largest-attended college football games drew 117,000 and 115,000 fans, respectively.
"There has always been a desire by fans to see a football game at our historic speedway," said Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. "We couldn't be more excited to turn this long-time rumor into a reality and to provide sports fans with an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the biggest college football game ever."
Bristol Motor Speedway has a rich history of epic clashes and rivalries, so it's only fitting that the inaugural event will feature a border battle between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tennessee Volunteers. It will be a border battle in a literal sense, as the state line runs through downtown Bristol, creating the twin cities of Bristol, Va. and Bristol, Tenn.
"We are looking forward to this opportunity to be a part of college football history," Jones said. "The chance to play in a great venue as Bristol Motor Speedway against a program the caliber of Virginia Tech is another illustration of how we are continuing to build upon our great and unique tradition here at Tennessee. Our players and everyone associated with our football program will have wonderful memories of being a part of such a historical event."
Beamer added: "To be able to play in front of a crowd that is the largest to ever see a college football game is a once in a lifetime opportunity. With the great fan support that Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee have, it should be a great atmosphere."