WJTV News Channel 12 - Nation buzzing over the "Battle at Bristol"

Nation buzzing over the "Battle at Bristol"

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Bristol (WJHL) -

It's one of the hottest topics in the sports nation right now and it's taking place right here in our region.  Bristol Motor Speedway will transform into a football field on September 10th, 2016 when the Tennessee Vols take on the Virginia Tech Hokies.  They're calling it the "Battle at Bristol".  

BMS officials tell us when the news broke on Wednesday that football would once again be played at racing's fastest half mile, it was USA Today's most shared story for 6 hours.  It also blew up on Twitter.  Officials say there were 19 million tweets during that same time period about the big game.

Bristol Motor Speedway Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell says this will be the biggest event ever held at the speedway.  And that's not just because of the work that will have to take place to turn the race track into a football field, it's also because of the excitement by fans with the game three years away.

"It's going to be the biggest football game ever," said Brad Thompson, a long time Vols fan.

Everyone just can't seem to wait for the big game day in 2016.

"The UT Vols and the Hokies are very good rivalry so it's going to be a very good game.  I'm very excited," said Jordan Thompson, who attended the announcement at the track with his grandfather.

However, it will take a lot of work to turn racing's fastest half mile into a football field.

"It's going to take tremendous amount of  choreographing from several different parties to pull this off," said Jerry Caldwell, Bristol Motor Speedway Vice President and General Manager.

An estimated 85 hundred tons of rock and dirt will be brought in to cover the bottom of the track and 100,000 square feet of Astroturf will be laid down.  Not to mention the racing scoreboard in the middle of the track, it's going to have to move underground.  And this will all have to take place just 2 weeks after August racing in Bristol.  However, BMS has been consulting with engineers for 17 years to make this happen and their team is confident everything well go off without a hitch.

"It's going to be quite the undertaking," said Caldwell.

BMS expects more than 150,000 people to attend the game.  And one thing is certain whether by the size of the crowd, the transformation of the track, or because of the history of the teams on the field, history will be made at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016.

So how do you get tickets to the biggest football game in history?  BMS Nascar season ticket holders are guaranteed tickets for the game and can put down a deposit on tickets now.  Ticket information for the general public will be released by the end of this year.  You can be the first in the know by logging on to www.battleatbristol.com and singing up to be a "Battle at Bristol Insider".  Ticket prices will start at $40.

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