Could Bristol Motor Speedway be joined by another NASCAR track in hosting a college football game in the near future?
Daytona International Speedway is in the midst of renovations to its famous facility and track president Joie Chitwood reiterated his desire for a college football game to be held in the track's infield after the renovations are complete.
“We have the property,” Chitwood said to SI.com “where fans can camp inside and roll out to the game. It could be the largest tailgate inside one stadium.”
The 2.5 mile track has ample space in the infield for RVs and tailgating. For the Daytona 500 in February, the middle of the track will be jammed full of fans spending the week.
The renovations to Daytona are expected to be complete for the 2016 season. The $400 million project includes a complete remodeling of the grandstands along the frontstretch and the removal of the grandstands along the backstretch. After the renovations, the listed capacity of the speedway will be 101,000.
The infield at Daytona is located between the tri-oval and pit road and is plenty large enough for a football field. The frontstretch grandstands would provide a close view of the field. When the track announced the renovation project in the summer, Chitwood mentioned that hosting a Florida game would be on the track's short list of possibilities.
In October, Bristol announced that Virginia Tech and Tennessee would play at the track in 2016. Bristol's listed capacity is 158,000 seats. However, the track is a half-mile long and grandstands encompass the entire oval. Because of Daytona's length, if it was encircled by grandstands, the sightlines wouldn't make a sellout feasible.
Daytona has hosted four football games previously. The games in 1974 and 1975 featured Bethune-Cookman, a university located in Daytona Beach. Bristol has also featured a football game before. In 1961, it hosted a preseason game between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
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