Jennifer Nettles’ National Anthem Wows Battle at Bristol

Largest College Football Game Draws 156,990 Fans

“What a way to get things started,” a sports announcer said after Jennifer Nettles finished a flawless performance of the National Anthem at the Battle at Bristol on Saturday (Sept. 10).

While millions watched at home, Nettles was all smiles as she belted the “Star-Spangled Banner” before the world’s largest football game between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech at Tennessee’s Bristol Motor Speedway.

That night, the 156,990 fans in the grandstands set a new college football attendance record and saw the Vols beat the Hokies 45 to 24. Previously, the largest college football game to date was 2013’s Michigan vs. Notre Dame matchup, which hosted 115,109 fans.

The weekend’s live entertainment included sets by Sam Hunt, the Band Perry, Old Dominion, Lance Stinson, Alyssa Michaela, Jon Pardi and Sam Hunt.

Friday’s (Sept. 9) Kenny Chesney concert kicked off the weekend of college football at the NASCAR short track and included a surprise appearance by current Super Bowl champion and former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.