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In 2011, the world of college football was torn apart. The long running Texas–Texas A&M rivalry of 118 games was put on hiatus by conference realignment, and hordes of fans were left directionless. Now, it looks like there’s a beacon of hope. The best part? It could come in the form of a 200,000 person extravaganza at Texas Motor Speedway. Eddie Gossage, the Speedway’s President, is making it his mission to make that happen.
From SEC Country:
I think everybody that lives in Texas would love to see them play again. It’s a crime they don’t,” Gossage said. “That would be a perfect game for us, because that’s a special one. That was one you always looked forward to. Maybe to revive it, something like this would help.”
Something like the chance to make history. See, Gossage wants to go big or not at all, and he figures a record-shattering crowd of 200,000-plus is doable at Texas Motor Speedway.
While his and almost every other track in the country face bigger challenges than Bristol – which was already essentially a giant football stadium with a track inside, and thus easier to configure for a game – the need to build temporary seating also provides an opportunity.
“The beauty,” Gossage said, “is you can make it whatever size you want. Remember, in Texas, you gotta do things big. Bigger than anybody else. I look at that crowd at Bristol, which was spectacular and a massive achievement, but I wouldn’t be interested in doing it unless we’re going to be bigger. So it’s how big do the schools want it? How much would they want to beat the record by?
Bristol had a record crowd of over 156,000 for this season’s matchup between Tennessee and Virginia Tech, so there’s no reason to think that the revival of a huge game couldn’t top that number. Texas Motor Speedway already has a bigger capacity than Bristol, and constructing some temporary bleachers would increase that by leaps and bounds. People from all over the state would be chomping at the bit for tickets, and you can bet it would sell out in no time.
This is a brave new frontier for college football rivalries. Not only does it bring back a fan favorite, it’s also laying the foundation for games like The Iron Bowl at Talladega or Ohio State–Michigan at Indy. It’s a proven fact that a bigger party is a better party. College games are fun enough with 80,000 people, but let’s see what kind of antics can pop off with over twice that. Not only that, but a race track’s environment is second to none. If you think tailgating at a college stadium is the most fun a person can have, you’ve never been shit-housed at a NASCAR race. Drink some corn liquor with a dude in a Def Leppard cutoff if you want to know what a good time is. As American hero Darrell Waltrip once said, “Boogity boogity boogity let’s go racing boys!”.
[via SEC Country]