Virginia Tech, Tennessee to play football game at Bristol Motor Speedway

October 10, 2013

This place could use a college football game. (Mark Humphrey / AP)

Virginia Tech has agreed to play a nonconference football game against Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, a person familiar with the negotiations said Monday night. The two schools are expected to officially announce the deal at a Monday news conference in Bristol, Tenn.

Bristol Motor Speedway’s capacity is 160,000, and a sellout would set a new college football attendance record. The NASCAR racetrack represents a halfway point between the two schools, with Knoxville, Tenn., just 110 miles away and Blacksburg, Va., only 130 miles from Bristol.

It will be the ninth meeting between the Hokies and Volunteers, the most recent game coming in the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl.

But this isn’t the first time Virginia Tech and Tennessee have discussed a game in Bristol, Tenn. Back in 2005, Bruton Smith, the chairman and chief executive of Speedway Motorsports Inc., offered each school $20 million to play a nonconference game at the racetrack.

Joe Schad of ESPN and Bruce Feldman of CBS were the first to report the 2016 agreement between Virginia Tech and Tennessee.

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Cindy Boren · October 10, 2013