We all know the September 10th, 2016 game at Bristol Motor Speedway between Virginia Tech and Tennesse will be one for the ages. Not just on the field, but in terms of tailgating and the overall experience, it's going to be epic.
East Tennessee State University, located just minutes down the road in Johnson City, Tennessee, is hoping to piggyback off that.
The Johnson City Press reported that ETSU is about to announce that on September 17th, 2016, a week after the Vols and Hokies tangle, the Bucs are moving a scheduled home game to BMS versus the Western Carolina Catamounts.
This is a horrible idea in so many ways.
In their first game back, ETSU played in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,217 at Science Hill High School. Science Hill is ETSU's home until their new stadium is completed in 2017. Despite breaking 8,400 for homecoming versus Emory and Henry, ETSU drew less than 6,500 for their final three home games. The average was 7,128.
Western Carolina's five home games in 2015 drew an average of 10,119 people per game, with a single-game high of 12,348 for the home opener versus Mars Hill. So between the two schools, they averaged 17,247 people for home games.
Bristol Motor Speedway seats 160,000. One-hundred, sixty thousand seats. Take the average attendance for each school combined, that's 10.78% of the BMS capacity.
Even if you include Bristol ticket holders, it's hard to see this game getting above 30,000 people. That leaves 130,000 empty seats.
Also, being the week after the Battle At Bristol, it's hard to see major public interest in a second game at the same venue, especially an FCS game. It might be cool for the players and coaches, but in the end it could end up as a massive punch-line for the Twitter-savvy folks.
Sure, Bristol Motor Speedway sounds better than Science Hill High School and I bet the costs aren't that big since ETSU has a good relationship with BMS, but in the end, it seems destined to set the college football record for most empty seats.