Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 11, 2014

Beamer, Jones to be grand marshals at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and Tennessee coach Butch Jones will serve as co-grand marshals for the Food City 500 on Sunday at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Tennes-see and Virginia Tech are scheduled to play a football game Sept. 10, 2016, in an event being billed as the “Battle at Bristol.” The speedway sits nearly halfway between the campuses of the two schools, off Interstate 81 in Tennessee.

Seating capacity is expected to be over 150,000, and organizers hope the game will set an NCAA single-game attendance record.

Both coaches have a history with the Bristol “spring race.” Beamer was an honorary starter for the 2005 event, and Jones was grand marshal last year as well.

“People talked about this game for 17 years,” Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Caldwell said. “It is hard to believe, but now that it has been announced, conversation and interest has just increased. People are excited, few more so than these two coaches.”

Beamer said, “Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the most exciting sports venues that I know and like to visit, and we look forward to playing Tennessee there in 2016 before the largest crowd to ever watch a football game."

Jones said, “While our game is still two years away, I had such a great time at last year’s race that I wanted to return to Bristol to witness again one of NASCAR’s most iconic and exciting events.”

The Food City 500 Sprint Cup race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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