Vols, Virginia Tech to play at Bristol

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Tennessee and Virginia Tech will play a football game at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, according to Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com and later confirmed by InsideTennessee.

The half-mile NASCAR track has a capacity of 158,000. The game is likely to set a new college football attendance record.

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The standing attendance record for college football is 115,109, which was set last month at Michigan Stadium for the Michigan-Notre Dame game.

The speedway is located 125 miles from Blacksburg, Va., and 111 miles from Knoxville, Tenn.

Both Hokies and Vols fans have heard rumblings about a Bristol-housed game for a long time. The two schools tried to schedule a game in Bristol years ago but could not because of conflicting schedules.

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart spoke to IT in a one-on-one interview in the spring and addressed the topic of scheduling a neutral site game.

"I like the neutral site games," Hart said. "I was involved in them at other institutions. I think there are a lot of upsides. We are in those conversations. We will continue to have those conversations. On one hand, you'd hate to take a game out of Knoxville. On the other hand, there are a lot of upsides to playing a neutral site game whether it's in our state or outside our state boarders."

Tennessee's non-conference schedule for 2016 now includes Connecticut, a road game at Nebraska and a neutral site game against Virginia Tech.

It is the first regular-season game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech since 1937.

The Bristol Motor Speedway Commission scheduled a news conference Monday morning.


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