130,045 or 156,990? Either way, Battle at Bristol sets a Guinness World Record

(Graphic: Media General)
(Graphic: Media General)

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WATE) – The Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol set a record for the biggest crowd to see a college football game.

Guinness confirms the record, but they came up with a different attendance number than the 156,990 announced at the game.

“They had a confirmed total of ticketed attendees at 130,045 people,” said Kim Partrick, head of records management for the United States and Canada. “In many cases, announced attendance is actually higher than the real ticketed attendance. And for this reason, from a Guinness World Records attendance standpoint, we’ve decided that globally the way that we count attendance records, so that it can be compared from place to place, is just for that barcoded, ticketed attendance.”

Guinness’s total leaves out players, the two bands, staff and media members. They only count people there to watch the game.

“It’s just important to note that yes, we know that higher figures than the one we recorded have been publicized, but either way whether it’s 130,045 or over 150,000 this is an incredibly impressive achievement on behalf of Bristol Motor Speedway in getting that many people there to watch the game,” said Partrick.

Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Caldwell says another reason for the different count is with so many people coming through the gate, at one point they stopped scanning tickets and just let people show their ticket to get them in as quickly as possible.

“We are thrilled with the success of the game and are very excited to have set the college football record for single-game attendance, as well the record for attendance of an American football game that was certified by Guinness World Records,” said Caldwell in a statement.

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