Have you ever heard of a football field inside a speedway? It may sound bizarre, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Bristol Motor Speedway. This iconic NASCAR track, located in Bristol, Tennessee, is not just home to high-speed races. It also boasts a full-size football field inside its facility. Here’s everything you need to know about this fascinating and unusual feature.
The history of Bristol Motor Speedway dates back to 1960, when the first race was held on its track. The speedway has since undergone numerous renovations and upgrades, including the addition of the football field. The field is located in the infield area of the track, right in the middle of the oval.
While the field is primarily used for college football games, it has also hosted a variety of other events, from concerts to monster truck shows. The logistics behind building a football field inside a speedway are complex and challenging, but the end result is a truly unique experience for fans and players alike.
Curious to know more about how this unusual feature came to be? Want to find out about the different ways the field is used? Or perhaps you’re wondering about the impact it has had on the surrounding community? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the football field inside Bristol Motor Speedway!
History of Bristol Motor Speedway
The Bristol Motor Speedway, located in Bristol, Tennessee, is a legendary NASCAR racetrack with a rich and fascinating history. The track was first opened in 1961, and since then, it has been home to some of the most thrilling races in NASCAR history. Bristol is known for its steep banking, short track, and unique layout, which make it one of the most challenging and exciting racetracks in the world.
Over the years, the track has undergone many changes, from renovations to expansions. But the spirit and excitement of Bristol have remained constant. Here’s a look at some of the most notable moments in Bristol Motor Speedway‘s history:
Bristol’s Early Days
- In 1961, the track opened as Bristol International Speedway.
- The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol was held on July 30, 1961.
- In 1969, the track was renamed Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Dale Earnhardt Era
Dale Earnhardt, one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, had many memorable moments at Bristol. Here are a few of them:
- In 1995, Earnhardt won his first Cup Series race at Bristol.
- In 1999, Earnhardt famously spun out Terry Labonte on the last lap to win the Goody’s Headache Powder 500.
- Earnhardt won nine Cup Series races at Bristol in his career.
Kyle Busch has been dominant at Bristol in recent years, winning several races at the track. Here are some other recent highlights:
- In 2014, Joey Logano won the first night race at Bristol.
- In 2020, Brad Keselowski won the Supermarket Heroes 500, which was held without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Bristol Dirt Race, which is set to take place in March 2021, is one of the most highly anticipated races of the year.
If you’re a fan of NASCAR or motorsports in general, the Bristol Motor Speedway is a must-visit destination. With its rich history, exciting races, and passionate fans, it’s truly one of the most unique and thrilling racetracks in the world. Keep reading for more fascinating insights and stories about this incredible venue.
The Addition of the Football Field
As surprising as it may seem, Bristol Motor Speedway now includes a football field within its track. The idea behind adding a football field was to create a unique event that combined two different sports: NASCAR and college football. This innovative concept was first introduced in 2016, when the “Battle at Bristol” took place, a game between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech. This was the first-ever college football game played in a racetrack, and it was a huge success.
The football field was constructed in the center of the speedway, and it took more than two weeks to complete. The construction process involved laying out more than 50,000 square feet of AstroTurf and installing bleachers for the fans. In addition, the field had to be oriented so that it would not interfere with the track’s banking or the sightlines of the spectators. The end result was a stunning spectacle that impressed everyone who witnessed it.
The Idea Behind the Football Field
The concept of combining NASCAR and college football came from Jerry Caldwell, the general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. Caldwell was inspired by the history of Bristol and its roots in NASCAR, and he wanted to create a unique event that would showcase the speedway’s versatility. The idea of adding a football field was met with some skepticism at first, but Caldwell persevered and managed to convince everyone that it was a feasible and exciting idea.
The Construction of the Football Field
- The construction of the football field began in the summer of 2015, more than a year before the “Battle at Bristol” was scheduled to take place.
- The project required more than 400 workers and involved a massive amount of equipment, including cranes, bulldozers, and excavators.
- The field was constructed using more than 12 million pounds of crushed stone, which was layered to create a solid base for the turf.
The Future of the Football Field
The success of the “Battle at Bristol” ensured that the football field would become a permanent fixture at Bristol Motor Speedway. Since then, several other events have been held on the field, including a high school football game and a soccer match. The speedway has also opened up the field to the public for tours, giving visitors the chance to step onto the turf and experience the unique setting for themselves.
With the success of the football field, Bristol Motor Speedway has become more than just a racetrack. It’s a versatile venue that can accommodate a wide range of events, and the addition of the football field has made it an even more unique and exciting destination for sports fans. Who knows what other innovative ideas will come from this legendary track?
How the Field Has Been Used
The addition of the football field to the Bristol Motor Speedway has allowed for a wide range of events to be held at the venue. One of the most popular uses of the field has been for college football games, with several universities from around the region playing games at the stadium.
Another popular use of the field has been for music concerts and festivals. The large size of the field allows for tens of thousands of fans to attend these events, making the Bristol Motor Speedway one of the premier concert venues in the Southeastern United States.
- Football games: Since its construction, the Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted several high-profile college football games. The most famous of these was the Battle at Bristol in 2016, which set a record for the highest attendance at a college football game.
- Training camps: The Bristol Motor Speedway has also been used by college football teams as a training camp. Several teams have held practices and scrimmages on the field, taking advantage of the unique setting and facilities available at the speedway.
Music Concerts and Festivals
The Bristol Motor Speedway has become one of the top concert venues in the Southeastern United States, hosting some of the biggest names in music. Here are some examples of music events held at the venue:
- Food City 500: This is a popular NASCAR race held annually at the Bristol Motor Speedway. It features some of the biggest names in racing, drawing tens of thousands of fans each year.
- Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion: This is a popular music festival held annually at the Bristol Motor Speedway. It features a wide range of musical styles, including bluegrass, country, and rock.
The Bristol Motor Speedway has also been used for a wide range of other events, including:
- Movie screenings: The large size of the field makes it an ideal venue for outdoor movie screenings. Several movies have been shown at the Bristol Motor Speedway, drawing large crowds of moviegoers.
- Community events: The Bristol Motor Speedway has also been used for community events, including charity walks and runs, car shows, and other festivals.
The Logistics Behind Building the Field
Building a football field is no easy feat. It requires extensive planning, preparation, and execution. The first step in building a field is to find an appropriate location. The ground needs to be level and free from rocks and other obstacles. Once a suitable location is found, the actual construction process can begin.
The construction of a football field involves several different elements. The first step is to level the ground and remove any unwanted vegetation. Next, a layer of gravel is added to improve drainage. This is followed by a layer of sand, which helps to create a stable base for the turf. The turf itself is then laid on top of the sand and secured in place.
The Importance of Drainage
One of the most important aspects of building a football field is ensuring proper drainage. Without adequate drainage, the field can become waterlogged and unplayable. This is why a layer of gravel is added during construction, to help facilitate the flow of water away from the playing surface. Additionally, drainage pipes are often installed beneath the field to help move water away even more efficiently.
The Role of Turf Maintenance
After the field is constructed, it is important to properly maintain the turf to ensure it remains in good condition. This includes regular mowing, fertilization, and watering. Additionally, any damage to the turf should be repaired promptly to prevent further deterioration. Regular maintenance not only helps to keep the field looking good, but it also helps to ensure the safety of the players who use it.
The Importance of Lighting
Another important aspect of building a football field is ensuring proper lighting. This is particularly important for night games or practices. High-quality lighting is essential for providing good visibility and ensuring the safety of the players. Additionally, lighting can help to enhance the overall experience for players and spectators alike.
Other Sports Hosted at Bristol Motor Speedway
While Bristol Motor Speedway is primarily known for hosting NASCAR events, it has also played host to a number of other sports over the years. One of the most notable of these is college football. In 2016, the Speedway was transformed into a football stadium for the Battle at Bristol, a game between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech. The event set a record for the largest ever attendance at a college football game with over 156,000 fans in attendance.
In addition to football, Bristol Motor Speedway has also hosted a number of other events including concerts, monster truck shows, and even ice skating. One particularly unique event was the 2019 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event, which took place inside the Speedway’s infield. The event brought some of the best bull riders in the world to Bristol and was a huge success with fans.
- Over the years, Bristol Motor Speedway has played host to a number of big-name concerts, including acts like Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, and Guns N’ Roses.
- The Speedway’s location in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains makes it an ideal venue for concerts, offering breathtaking views and a unique atmosphere.
Monster Truck Shows
- The Thunder Valley Nationals, a monster truck and motocross event, has been held at Bristol Motor Speedway for over 20 years.
- The event draws some of the biggest names in the monster truck world and is always a hit with fans.
- One of the most unusual events ever held at Bristol Motor Speedway was an ice skating show featuring Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan.
- The show took place on a specially constructed ice rink on the infield of the Speedway and was a huge success with fans of all ages.
The Impact of the Field on the Surrounding Community
The installation of the field at Bristol Motor Speedway has brought about significant positive change to the surrounding community. Here are a few ways the field has impacted the area:
- The field has become a popular venue for a variety of events, bringing in tourism and providing a boost to local businesses.
- The field has also created jobs both in the initial construction phase and in ongoing maintenance and operations.
- The field has provided a space for community events such as concerts, festivals, and high school football games.
- These events have brought together people of all ages and backgrounds, promoting a sense of unity and strengthening community bonds.
- The installation of the field has made the Bristol Motor Speedway more accessible to a wider range of events and activities.
- Previously, the speedway was primarily used for NASCAR races, limiting the opportunities for community involvement.
- Now, the speedway has become a more versatile space, accommodating a wide range of events and activities for the benefit of the community.
The impact of the field on the surrounding community has been overwhelmingly positive, providing economic benefits, community unity, and increased accessibility. The field has truly become a cornerstone of the community, bringing people together and promoting positive change.
Potential Future Uses for the Field
With the versatility and size of the field at Bristol Motor Speedway, there are endless possibilities for future use beyond racing. Here are a few potential ideas:
Firstly, the field could be transformed into a massive concert venue for major music acts. With the ability to hold hundreds of thousands of fans, the field would be a prime location for large-scale events. Secondly, the field could be used for outdoor festivals, such as food and wine festivals or cultural celebrations. This could bring in tourism and revenue to the surrounding area.
The field could also be used for a variety of sporting events, such as soccer matches or college football games. With the capability to seat a large number of people, the field could become a go-to destination for major sporting events in the region. Additionally, it could be used for sports camps or clinics for children, providing a unique experience for young athletes.
Another potential use for the field is for corporate events, such as trade shows or product launches. With ample space, companies could set up booths or stages to showcase their products or services. This would be a unique and memorable way to host a corporate event that would stand out from traditional venues.
Movie or TV Production
The field could also be used as a location for movie or TV productions. With a large and open space, it would be perfect for outdoor scenes or large-scale productions. This would provide a unique and versatile location for film and television producers, potentially bringing in revenue to the surrounding area and providing job opportunities for local residents.
Why Is There A Football Field Inside Bristol Motor Speedway?
What is the Bristol Motor Speedway?
The Bristol Motor Speedway is a NASCAR short track located in Bristol, Tennessee, and is known for its steep banking and high speeds. The Speedway hosts two major NASCAR Cup Series events each year, drawing thousands of fans from across the country to watch the thrilling races.
How big is the football field inside the Bristol Motor Speedway?
The football field inside the Bristol Motor Speedway measures 162,000 square feet and is a regulation-sized field. The field was installed in the infield of the track and is surrounded by grandstands that provide seating for up to 20,000 fans.
When was the football field installed at Bristol Motor Speedway?
The football field was installed at the Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, as part of the “Battle at Bristol” game between the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Virginia Tech Hokies. The game set a new record for the largest attendance at a college football game, with over 156,000 fans in attendance.
How does the installation of a football field impact Bristol Motor Speedway?
The installation of a football field at the Bristol Motor Speedway has helped to diversify the venue’s offerings beyond NASCAR races, attracting new audiences and revenue streams. The “Battle at Bristol” game, for example, generated millions of dollars in economic impact for the surrounding communities through tourism and related spending.
Are there plans for future football games at Bristol Motor Speedway?
There have been no announcements about future football games at the Bristol Motor Speedway. However, the success of the “Battle at Bristol” game suggests that the Speedway could continue to explore opportunities for hosting major sporting events outside of NASCAR races.
What other events have taken place at Bristol Motor Speedway besides NASCAR races and football games?
Bristol Motor Speedway has also hosted other events, including concerts, monster truck shows, and other motorsports events. The Speedway has also been used as a filming location for movies and television shows, further showcasing the versatility and flexibility of the venue beyond its primary use for NASCAR races.