804 The "Battle at Bristol": An IDSS Review of the Highest Attended College Football Game

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Matthew E. Anderson, NOAA/NWS, Morristown, TN; and A. Pritchett

The “Battle at Bristol” college football game took place on September 10th, 2016 between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Virginia Tech Hokies. The game had an attendance of 156,990 fans, making this the highest attended college football game by over 40,000 fans. Tickets to the event were sold to individuals in all 50 states and four foreign countries. The size and scope of the game generated national media attention including the on-site broadcast of ESPN’s College Gameday at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday morning. The festivities were nearly a week long with many campers showing up well ahead of the game and a concert featuring Kenny Chesney on Friday night. Understanding the weather related risks to a vulnerable population, local officials requested on-site support for the event. To accommodate this request, the NWS in Morristown dispatched two meteorologists to the Multi-Agency Coordination Center on both Friday and Saturday in support of the event. This discussion will highlight the challenges during this event, the best practices and lessons learned to communicate effectively to deep core partners as well as how to provide quick and reliable information to on-site officials.
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