Bristol might host big football game

This Daily Press article says that Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver is exploring the possibility of a lucrative game against Tennessee in Bristol, with an eye on how it could affect the future of his athletic program.There's a lot of haggling to do before a $40 million football game matching Tennessee against Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway becomes reality, but Tech athletic director Jim Weaver is dreaming about what he could do with an extra $20 million.

O. Bruton Smith, the chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., is prepared to offer the universities $20 million each to play at the track in Bristol, Tenn. SMI owns Bristol Motor Speedway and five other tracks where NASCAR Nextel Cup events are held. Weaver said he had e-mail correspondence Friday with Jeff Byrd, president and general manager of the track. Smith said Thursday he would knock down all the structures on the infield of the track at Bristol to build an artificial turf football field for the game. He also said he'd increase the track's seating capacity from 160,000 to 175,000 for the game. Meanwhile, Weaver is already pondering how to make the game fit in Tech's schedule, and how much of a boost $20 million could give to upgrading athletic facilities.

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