Monday, Oct. 14th was a historic day.

A day that David McGee, or the next Bristol Historian, will write and do interviews about in 20-30 years.

On that beautiful fall day, our SMI President and COO Marcus Smith, alongside our fearless leader, Bristol EVP and GM Jerry Caldwell, announced that after decades of speculation and rumor that it was officially time to declare it "Football time in Northeast Tennessee." The long awaited pairing of this area's perennial favorites, the Virginia Tech Hokies and the University of Tennessee Volunteers, will finally take place in the "Battle at Bristol," College Football's Biggest Ever, on Sept. 10, 2016.

Man, have we waited a long time to say that.

And how proud of a day it was for Jerry, Jeff Byrd's heir, and Marcus, our Chairman Bruton Smith's son, to stand side-by-side and make this announcement when it was those elder leaders who dreamed this event up so many years ago.

All I know is the story, and how this whole thing came together, will be one-heck-of-a "30 for 30" type documentary down the road.  It took years of determination, patience, care and passion to get this agreement to the finish line (no pun intended).

One thing is for sure; our amazing fans will be in for a treat when they walk through the gates of the Last Great Colosseum on September 10th, 2016, for what it sure to be one of the greatest events in American Sports History.

For more on the Battle at Bristol, go to

Take care!

Drew Bedard

Sr. Director, Brand Management