Who’ll Be Millionth Music City Bowl Fan?

By Tom Wood

Arrive early. Not too soon. But promptly. That’s the ticket to becoming the millionth fan to attend the Music City Bowl.

At least that’s my strategy going into Friday’s 2:30 p.m. (CST) kickoff of the 19th annual Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl between Tennessee (8-4) and Nebraska (9-3). The game begins at 2:30 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN. Gates open at 12:30.

mcb-2015A total of 986,002 fans have attended 18 previous editions of Nashville’s annual postseason college football game, meaning the 13,998th person to enter Nissan Stadium for Friday’s game will become the milestone millionth fan and receive a grand prize package in honor of the occasion.

The grand prize package from MCB partner tnvacation.com includes a seat upgrade and Bowl swag, plus a featured recognition on the Jumbotron during the game.

“It’s a nice package for a pretty great milestone,” said Scott Ramsey, president and CEO of the Music City Bowl. “We’re excited about the matchup.”

This year’s game is already listed as a sell-out, though a few scattered single tickets remained as of late Monday. Still, it is anyone’s guess as to when the millionth fan will enter the stadium.

But the way I figure it, I’ve got a one-in-69,143 shot at being the millionth fan.

Game-day activities begin at 9 a.m., across the Cumberland River with a Fan Zone on Broadway. Both teams will have pre-game pep rallies there, Nebraska’s running from 10:45-11:15 a.m., and UT’s from 11:30-noon—followed by a pregame concert by Jason Eskridge from 12:30-2 p.m. There’s also the official MCB tailgate party outside the stadium, a ticketed event, from 11:30-2.

This is UT’s second Music City Bowl appearance and the Vols’ 2010 game — a 30-27 double-overtime loss to North Carolina—was the most-attended game at 69,143.

Through 18 previous games, Music City Bowl attendance averaged 54,778. Below is a year-by-year look at attendance figures.

MUSIC CITY BOWL ATTENDANCE

Year Result Yearly & Total Att.
2015 Louisville 27, Texas A&M 21 50,478     986,002
2014 Notre Dame 31, LSU 28 60,419     935,524
2013 Ole Miss 25, Georgia Tech 17 52,125     875,105
2012 Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24 55,801     822,980
2011 Mississippi State 23, Wake Forest 17 55,208     767,179
2010 North Carolina 30, Tennessee 27 2-OT 69,143*    711,971
2009 Clemson 21, Kentucky 13 57,280     642,828
2008 Vanderbilt 16, Boston College 14 54,250     585,548
2007 Kentucky 35, Florida State 28 68,661*    531,298
2006 Kentucky 28, Clemson 20 68,024*    462,637
2005 Minnesota 31, Virginia 34 40,519      394,613
2004 Minnesota 20, Alabama 16 66,089*    354,094
2003 Auburn 28, Wisconsin 14 55,109      288,005
2002 Minnesota 29, Arkansas 14 39,183      232,896
2001 Boston College 20, Georgia 16 46,125      193,713
2000 West Virginia 49, Ole Miss 38 47,119      147,588
1999 Syracuse 20, Kentucky 13 59,221     100,469
1998 Virginia Tech 38, Alabama 7 41,248* ….41,248

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