The theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey played on in the background. And as Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock and Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart moved a Pilot foldable blind away, there the trophy for a game 20-plus years in the making stood: a smaller, metal replica of Bristol Motor Speedway with a football emerging on a tower in the center.
It's what the Hokies and Volunteers will play for Sept. 10 at the Battle at Bristol, a game many on both sides believed would never happen. But it will in impressive fashion. Bristol Motor Speedway general manager Jerry Caldwell said all 150,000 granstand seats have been sold. By the time the suites and any additional tickets are counted, the game will have upwards of 160,000, shattering all attendance records for a football game.
And there won't be much time to set it up. Following a trip of races next week and weekend, the speedway will have 19 days to set up a field that will have an Astro Turf surface. But as Caldwell said in the press conference, the job will get done.
Check out the video above for the press conference and trophy unveiling.