Social media still buzzing about Battle at Bristol Anthem

BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) – The Battle at Bristol had several memorable moments, but there is one that is still being talked about.

That moment is when Jennifer Nettles sang the National Anthem before the big game.


Monday afternoon we met with a Tennessee Vols fan, Ben Sharrett, who was inside the speedway to witness history as the Vols took on the Hokies in college football’s biggest game.

Sharrett said he was also a part of something he’d never experienced before.

“I’ve never heard people sing the National Anthem together that loudly, I just think that was a great symbol of patriotism,” Sharrett said.

If you listen closely to the video, you can hear more than 150,000 people standing and singing the Star-Spangled Banner.

Vice President of Bristol Motor Speedway, Jerry Caldwell, said it was an exciting start to something that has been 20 years in the making.

“It was very American, but thats what we do at our events here at Bristol Motor Speedway, we celebrate things American. For that to be really the first impression that everyone sees as they come in to Bristol Motor Speedway, that pregame ceremony was something special,” Caldwell said.

It takes a lot of planning to put on a show this size, including the card stunt at the beginning of the National Anthem.

We spoke with Joe Kivett of Kivett Productions over the phone Monday.

Kivett Productions was responsible for planning, organizing, and designing the 70,000 cards used Saturday night.

“We give everybody a card in the stadium, they hold it up on cue, everybody held up their card at the beginning of the National Anthem and formed an American flag and it also said USA.” Kivett said.

Kivett described what it was like watching all of their hard work unfold.

“To hear the fans singing the National Anthem along with the performer, and holding up the cards, and the fireworks, it really gave you goose bumps just being there,” Kivett said.

We checked on Monday night and found the National Anthem at the Battle at Bristol was still trending on Facebook with more than 15,000 people discussing the topic.

For more stories on the Battle at Bristol, click here. 

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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