Two Tennessee entities that previously had no trouble selling out its massive venues have teamed up to rejuvenate and collaborate their respective fan bases.
Bristol Motor Speedway and the University of Tennessee unveiled "The Dream Package" Tuesday, allowing fans to receive a ticket for the Aug. 27 Sprint Cup Irwin Tools Night Race and a ticket for the Sept. 3 Vols football season opener against Montana for a combined price of $110.
Fans can order the tickets online at TNDreamPackage.com. Quantities are limited.
"This is a great opportunity for us to reach sports fans and experienced fans, not just Tennessee fans," UT senior associate athletic director Chris Fuller said in a BMS press release. "It's really unique to be able to see two great events at Bristol Motor Speedway and Neyland Stadium in one week."
The collaboration is the latest example of UT attacking ticket sales with a proactive mentality rather than simply relying on the storied program's tradition-laden past to fill one of the biggest stadiums in the country.
The Vols are still one of the best in the nation when it comes to total attendance, but the team's recent struggles combined with a shaky economy have turned ticket sales into a tougher ordeal.
Last season, UT ranked sixth in the nation with an average of 99,781 fans for its seven games at Neyland Stadium, which seats 102,455. It marked a slight increase from the total amassed in 2009, but there is work to do if the Vols hope to crack an average of more than 100,000 in 2011.
As of Friday, the school had sold roughly 61,500 of its 72,500 season tickets. That's about 2,000-2,500 tickets fewer than what was sold at this point last year.
Individual tickets for all of the Vols' home games go on sale Aug. 8. Full blocks of season tickets, as well as two, three-game mini packs, are already on sale.
BMS has faced similar problems filling its spacious facility, which, after expansion in 2002, seats 155,000.
The venue had its 55-race sellout streak snapped last spring, but rebounded with a sellout for its more popular August race. Despite Knoxville's Trevor Bayne carrying a good deal of buzz into the March race after his unexpected Daytona 500 victory, attendance dipped significantly, as 120,000 fans made it out for the Jeff Byrd 500.
Individual tickets for next month's race start at $90.
Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble