March 16, 2014
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- On the heels of a recent five-year race entitlement extension, Bristol Motor Speedway and Food City officials today announced a new level to their partnership of more than two decades.
In addition to sponsoring the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup race and August Nationwide event at BMS, Food City now is a presenting partner of the Battle at Bristol, the college football game between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech to be played Sept. 10, 2016 in the infield of the famed speedway.
"When we announced this game last October, Steve Smith and several members of his Food City team were front and center," said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of BMS. "Practically before the confetti stopped falling Steve said `we want to be a part of this.' Now he and his team are the first ones on board."
Announced, appropriately enough, prior to today's Food City 500 in the infield of Bristol Motor Speedway, Caldwell and Smith were joined by Tennessee's Butch Jones and Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech, coaches for the two programs and co-grand marshals for race.
"The footprint of the location of our stores lays right over the area of the hottest support for these two programs," said Smith, CEO of Food City. "Shoot, many of our 13,000 associates already are drawing lines in the sand with each other over bragging rights.
"This game, between these two teams at this facility, has been talked about for 17 years. If the five months since the announcement are any indication, the talk is not going to stop until September 2016 and we are thrilled to be a part of it."
The agreement between BMS and Food City fills one of the three major sponsorship opportunities for the game expected to set the all-time NCAA College Football attendance record. One other presenting sponsorship and the title sponsorship to the matchup expected to draw more than 150,000 fans, are in negotiations.
Just last month officials unveiled a five-year agreement taking Food City's sponsorship of Bristol races beyond the 25-year mark.
Tickets for the Battle at Bristol currently are available to Bristol Motor Speedway season ticket holders as well as supporters of each program through the universities.
Fans interested in how to acquire tickets may call (855) 580-5525 or visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.