The "Battle of Bristol" football game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech in 2016 could pay each school more than $4.3 million, according to a term sheet obtained by USA TODAY Sports through a public records request.
The figure is based on a sellout of 141,100 grandstand seats at Bristol Motor Speedway, plus royalties the schools will receive for use the use of team logos on event-specific merchandise.
Each team is guaranteed $3.5 million for 25,000 tickets sold, $3.75 million for 32,500 tickets sold and $4 million for selling out the 40,000-ticket allotment each team will be provided to sell to its fans. Each team will receive an additional $300,000 if the speedway grandstand sells out. Five thousand tickets of each team's allotment are to not exceed $40 in price.
Though executed and signed by each school's athletics director and Bristol Motor Speedway general manager Jerry Caldwell, the term sheet is not a final version of the contract. Actual terms and pricing could change.
The Battle of Bristol will have a high payout for a early season "bowl" game. By comparison, the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game between Alabama and Virginia Tech played on Aug. 31 paid $2.5 per team.
The game in Bristol between Tennessee and Virginia Tech, scheduled for Sept. 10, 2016, was made official after nearly 20 years of on and off discussions. The speedway is roughly 110 miles northeast of Knoxville, home of the University of Tennessee, and 125 miles southwest of Blacksburg, home of Virginia Tech.
The term sheet also indicates that the Southeastern Conference will have the "exclusive first right to telecast or distribute the event on a live basis", with a preference for a primetime telecast, and that Tennessee will be the home team in its orange jerseys and Virginia Tech the visitor in maroon or white. The officiating crew will come from the Big Ten Conference.
Bristol Motor Speedway will have the right to sell game-specific sponsorships, including a title sponsorship. It also will have the right to sell alcohol during the game "provided that BMS will utilize alcohol awareness best practices ... consulting with promoters for similarly situated games for guidance."