Virginia Tech did not immediately provide a copy of the contract for the “Battle at Bristol” against Tennessee in 2016, but Volunteers beat writer and friend of the blog Evan Woodbery of the Knoxville News Sentinel received a copy from Tennessee through an open records request.
Both teams could earn up to $4.3 million from ticket sales and bonuses.
Each school will receive 40,000 tickets to sell to fans. If it sells that full allotment, it will earn $4 million. The figure is $3.5 million for 25,000 tickets and $3.75 million for 32,500.
For a comparison, Virginia Tech earned $2.5 million for appearing in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff this year against Alabama.
There is an escalating bonus based on attendance that could be as high an additional $300,000 per school if the game sells out the grandstand. If the crowd is 125,000, it’s an additional $100,00 per school. If it’s 132,500, it’s an additional $200,000.
Click here if you missed the original story about the game’s announcement Monday. Here are a few more details from the contract …
– Tennessee is designated as the home team and will wear orange. Virginia Tech is the road team and will wear maroon or white. Given how much the teams’ solid-colored uniforms differ in brightness, I’d imagine a Vols orange against a Hokies maroon would probably be a safe bet.
– The on-field and replay officials will be from the Big Ten.
– The contract states that five thousand tickets of the team’s allotment of 40,000 must not exceed $40 in price. There is no waiting list, but the “Battle at Bristol” FAQ site says season ticket holders or iBelong Members of Bristol can secure the opportunity to buy a ticket today with a $40 deposit.
– The average ticket price will be similar to other Bristol Motor Speedway and NASCAR events at $93.
But it’s actually a much better view than the first row of bleachers, which is so low that you don’t have a great angle to see the field. I think the best tickets will be the ones about halfway up the grandstand.
– Bristol Motor Speedway covers the costs of stadium expenses for a football game, including site and field preparation, venue operations and press box operations.
– No coolers are allowed in the speedway, although Bristol’s concessions vendors will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages during the game.
– Bristol Motor Speedway reserves the right to find a title sponsor for the event.
– The SEC has the television rights, meaning it will likely be on ESPN or CBS.
– The racetrack will buy an insurance policy in the event the game is canceled for any reason. That could be for unsafe field conditions, logistical concerns, etc. Virginia Tech and Tennessee would still receive $4 million each if the game in canceled before kickoff, although part of that could be withheld if the cancellation was due to “acts of God” or a natural disaster.