More than 150,000 fans are expected to attend this weekend’s game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway.
That would be the biggest crowd for a college football game in modern history. It would shatter the NCAA single-game record of 115,109, set in 2013 when Michigan beat Notre Dame 41-30 at the Big House.
But how does it compare to other really big team sporting events?
Here’s a look at some of the largest crowds for a single game between teams, which excludes events like Formula One races and cumulative attendance for things like the World Cup. Oh, and it’s a really inexact science.
TOP THIS: There’s a reason the gold-medal soccer match for this summer’s Rio Olympics was held at Maracana Stadium. It’s a place steeped in historical significance for Brazil and it hosted what’s considered the largest crowd ever for a soccer game.
An estimated 199,854 fans watched Brazil play Uruguay at Maracana during the 1950 World Cup.
Some say it’s likely the match topped 200,000, but there were 173,850 tickets sold, the full allotment.
The reason so many people were able to squeeze into the venue was because there weren’t many seats, just grandstands, adding meaning to the phrase “standing room only.”
Oh, and Uruguay won the match, 2-1, meaning most of those folks weren’t cheering when it was over.
RUMOR HAS IT: The actual record for a college football game in the United States may have been set the year before the stock market crashed to spark the Great Depression.
It occurred on Oct. 13, 1928, at Chicago’s Soldier Field. An estimated crowd of 120,000 watched Notre Dame defeat rival Navy 7-0. The crowd rivaled the number who saw Notre Dame edge USC at the same venue the year before — but the actual number of sold tickets for the game against the Trojans was listed at 99,573, while the Navy game had 103,081 paid, so it gets the edge.
THE UNKNOWN: The stadium with the greatest capacity in the world is the Rungrado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. The arena can hold 150,000 and has been used for soccer matches, including a “friendship” game between North and South Korean labor unions.
There’s really no way of knowing whether soccer matches or any other event have set an attendance record, because, well, it’s in North Korea. But we do know it’s huge.
PLAYING FOR PRAGUE: When World War II ended in Europe, two U.S. Army units played an American football game at Strahov Stadium in Prague. It is said that 400,000 war-weary people attended the September 1945 game to celebrate, although that number could not be verified.
The game was replayed last year to mark the 70th anniversary, although at a different site. Strahov Stadium is no longer used for sporting events.
HISTORIC HAMPDEN: The legendary stadium in Glasgow hosted an international between Scotland and England in 1937 that had an announced attendance of 149,415. But some say the actual total number of spectators was far greater because of special guests, the media and police at the game.
The doors were eventually closed leaving thousands shut out, and the home team rallied for a 3-1 victory.
SOCCER STATESIDE: Michigan Stadium was also the scene of the best-attended soccer match in the United States, when 109,318 fans showed up to watch Real Madrid play Manchester United in an International Cup match in 2014.
HEY! WHAT ABOUT THE SUPER BOWL? The biggest crowd to watch the NFL championship in person was the 103,985 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 20, 1980. Terry Bradshaw led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 31-19 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.