Battle at Bristol: What you need to know before you go

BRISTOL, TN (WJHL)- If you’ve ever been to a NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway you may think you’ve got the rules down. But BMS officials are encouraging the estimated 150,000 ticket-holders to do their homework before game day.

“Think like you’ve never been here before, you’re coming to a football game, you’re not coming to a NASCAR race.” President and Chief Executive Officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Marcus Smith said.

We’ve broken down the top things for you to know before attending college football’s biggest game ever.

“NCAA and college football traditionally operate a bit differently from things that are allowed in versus a NASCAR race,” BMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell said.

Some prohibited items:

  • coolers
  • backpacks
  • outside food and drink
  • selfie sticks
  • signs
  • strollers
  • umbrellas
  • For a full list of items click here.

You are only allowed to carry in one clear plastic bag 18″ tall, 18″ wide, and 6″ deep.

Another key difference for this game, you’ll have to show your ticket before getting on to BMS property.

“We will also have an outer perimeter checkpoint that’s on the outer side of our property so the Volunteer Parkway and then kind of the creek that’s around the property,” Caldwell said. “We’re trying to limit people on our property to individuals that have a ticket so that they can have the best experience possible.”

And once that ticket is scanned at the BMS gate, if you leave you can’t come back.

But before getting your ticket scanned you’ll have to park. Parking for the game is pre-sold and not available on game day. Parking opens at 7am, stadium gates open at 4pm, four hours before kickoff.

“Starting early that morning we will keep you entertained but come on and get out here early and be patient when you get here. It is going to be the largest crowd in football history. So moving all these people around will take a little while,” Caldwell said.

“If you ever been to a super bowl it’s that level and more because of the number of people that are here,” Smith said.

And if you’d rather avoid parking near BMS, with a ticket to the game, you can park at four locations around the Tri-Cities and a $20 round-trip shuttle will pick you up and take you to BMS. Reservations can be made by calling the ticket office at 866-415-4158 or by visiting the website at .

Park and Ride locations include:

  • Bristol, VA: Sugar Hollow Park, 3600 Lee Highway, between exits 7 and 10 off I-81.
    Bus service starts at 11 AM with the last bus departing at 4 PM.
  • Johnson City, TN: ETSU, Lot #9, corner of West State of Franklin and University Parkway.
    Bus service starts at 11 AM with buses departing each hour until 4 PM.
  • Kingsport, TN: Sullivan North High School, 2533 N. John B. Dennis Highway.
    Bus service will start at Noon with additional pickups at 2 PM and 4 PM..
  • Blountville, TN: Sullivan Central High School, Exit 66, I-81 at 113 Shipley Ferry Road.
    Bus service starts at 11 AM with buses departing each hour until 4 PM

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