Report: Tennessee to play Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016

UT says it cannot confirm report

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race is run in Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Andrew Coppley, CIA Bristol Motor Speedway, Pool)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race is run in Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Andrew Coppley, CIA Bristol Motor Speedway, Pool)

Tennessee has agreed to play Virginia Tech in football at the Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, according to a reports by CBS Sports and ESPN reporters on Wednesday.

The well-known NASCAR racetrack has a capacity of 160,000, which means the game could set a new record for attendance in a team sport.

Tennessee spokesman Jimmy Stanton said he could not confirm the reports by ESPN reporter Joe Schad and CBS Sports reporter Bruce Feldman.

Bristol Motor Speedway has scheduled a press conference Monday morning to make a "major announcement."

On and off discussions about a game between the Vols and Hokies have existed for more than a decade.

UT previously said there were serious logistical issues that made playing a game difficult.

Tennessee coach Butch Jones was grand marshal of the Food City 500 at Bristol in February.

More on this story coming soon.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments » 10

vut5686#1405392 writes:

Guess those serious logistical issues got less serious with a new HC and AD. In these troubled times, a huge payoff might have solved some of the logistical issues. Hope if it comes off, it comes off okay for the fans.

FWBVol writes:

Time for me to be nit picky. I took a journalism 101 class and the grad assistant that taught the class told us "new record" is redundant. Saying new record is like saying "record, record." The fact that something is a record, or will be a record, indicates that record is, or will be "new."

chrisvol95 writes:

"What are they doing out there?? Are they playing football?? I can't see a darn thing...."

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to chrisvol95:

"What are they doing out there?? Are they playing football?? I can't see a darn thing...."

It's an auto race.

moonpie-ellie writes:

But won't those cars whizzing by distract the players?

Caneoverthere writes:

Fantastic!

fannotsheep writes:

Here's the thing: Tennessee football needs to do something big to get its name back in the news -- for something other than losing, paying players and breaking NCAA rules. Even though Jones is recruiting well, I don't look for the Vols to hold their own with the big SEC dogs in the next year or two. Even if he holds this class together, Jones must rebuild his offensive line and replace lots of seniors in the Florida-and-Alabama-games-at-Neyland season next year. Somewhere along the way he has to bring in or bring along a QB that fits his offense, and playing the Gators and Tide on the road in 2015 won't be a picnic.

If this report/rumor is true, it will generate buzz all the way up to the 2016 kickoff. I guess it will be played in front of college football's largest crowd. Somebody will coin a phrase involving racing, rednecks and Rocky Top. And maybe, if all goes well, it might even become college football's biggest, most talked about annual regular season game.

So what if you can't see the players as well? That's what JumboTrons are for. They've got two years to work out the bugs. And who doesn't want one of the first "I was there with 160,000 of my closest friends to see the Vols and Hokies make history!" t-shirts?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to fannotsheep:

Here's the thing: Tennessee football needs to do something big to get its name back in the news -- for something other than losing, paying players and breaking NCAA rules. Even though Jones is recruiting well, I don't look for the Vols to hold their own with the big SEC dogs in the next year or two. Even if he holds this class together, Jones must rebuild his offensive line and replace lots of seniors in the Florida-and-Alabama-games-at-Neyland season next year. Somewhere along the way he has to bring in or bring along a QB that fits his offense, and playing the Gators and Tide on the road in 2015 won't be a picnic.

If this report/rumor is true, it will generate buzz all the way up to the 2016 kickoff. I guess it will be played in front of college football's largest crowd. Somebody will coin a phrase involving racing, rednecks and Rocky Top. And maybe, if all goes well, it might even become college football's biggest, most talked about annual regular season game.

So what if you can't see the players as well? That's what JumboTrons are for. They've got two years to work out the bugs. And who doesn't want one of the first "I was there with 160,000 of my closest friends to see the Vols and Hokies make history!" t-shirts?

Great post; agree with all. Many Vol fans have wondered for years why this hasn't been an annual game given all the similarities between the programs. The fact that Bristol offers a gigantic site almost exactly halfway between the schools is just icing on the cake. If Florida and Georgia can play every year in Jacksonville, why shouldn't the Vols and Hokies play every year in Bristol? It has always seemed, IMHO, like a no-brainer for both programs.

88volgrad writes:

This will be a horrifically bad experience for spectators, but hey, whatever. I guess it's not about the game.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 88volgrad:

This will be a horrifically bad experience for spectators, but hey, whatever. I guess it's not about the game.

Not necessarily. In the first place, the first one especially will be an EVENT. Years from now, everybody will want to claim they were there. Also, there will probably be at least two Jumbotrons in the stadium and live feeds available on everybody's digital devices. Depending on how the first one goes, it might hard to recreate subsequent ones with the same atmosphere, but I predict the first one will be ELECTRIC! I hope I can make it!

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