There a whole lot of people in attendance for Virginia Tech and Tennessee’s collision at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. So many folks in fact, that the 156,990 in attendance breaks the single-game attendance record for college football in the history of the sport.
It goes without question that the crowd would have been enormous regardless, but during the opening weekend, things may have been dampened had pre-season Top 10 Tennessee not been able to hang on at home against Appalachian State in overtime. Thought of as a potential favorite to win the SEC East coming into the season, the Volunteers were happy to make it to Bristol 1-0.
For the Virginia Tech Hokies, head coach Justin Fuente went from making his debut as the team’s new head man in charge, smacking around Liberty 36-13, to playing in front of the largest crowd to ever witness a college football game in-person. The Hokies would jump out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Volunteers would storm back, scoring 31 unanswered midway through the third quarter.
The weekend was highlighted by country music concerts, seemingly endless tailgates, and capped off by football. Not all of the 156,990 folks in attendance had a good view of the action on the field, which was an unfortunate inescapable aspect of playing on a race track, but will always have tangible evidence of their presence at what was a historic night for college football, no matter the outcome and what it leads to for either of the squads during the 2016 season.