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BMS converting track to football field

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:16:19 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 14 2013 01:01:03 PM CDT

Staff will have to move quickly to get the world’s fastest half mile ready for football for the game in September 2016.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

The dream of a Tennessee-Virginia Tech football game at Bristol Motor Speedway is becoming a reality after decades in the making.

Staff will have to move quickly to get the World's Fastest Half Mile ready for football for the game in September 2016.

Part of the conversion will be moving haulers out of the infield and using Astroturf to create a football field.

The area at BMS is already marked where the field would go. Heard Smith with Coo Astroturf said, "It's going to take some work to get the infield at BMS ready for football. First they have to remove the scoreboard and the large pole in the center. Then when it comes to the infield itself they have to make sure it's a flat playing field."

Right now the track is angled for drainage. Crews will have to fill it in with gravel to make it flat for a field, and they have to do it in a short amount of time -- from the August race to the September 10 football game. "This will be one of the biggest events we've ever put on, absolutely. Coordinating it in such a short period of time will be very difficult, but very exciting for our team," said Smith.

Many people are excited for the Battle at Bristol. Matt Bolas with the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau said, "Two weeks after the race to have another event like this, the world's largest college football game at the world's largest half-mile track, that's going to [be great] the economy. Hotels, camping, shopping, people going and exploring our town and our region will see what makes this place so special. So we're very excited for Bristol."

BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell said he expects the game to have a bowl-like atmosphere and a record-breaking crowd.

Between now and the game researchers will explore everything that needs to be done to get BMS and the city of Bristol ready.