Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage likes to think big. He likes to think outside the box.
So it came as no surprise a couple years ago when Gossage created a stir and floated out the possibility of TMS being the host site for a major college football game, such as Texas and Texas A&M renewing its football rivalry.
Gossage had just seen how much success one of Speedway Motorsports Inc. sister tracks, Bristol Motor Speedway, had in hosting the 2016 "Battle at Bristol" between Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
Has any progress been made toward reviving that game at TMS?
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"Well, you never know. If they want to talk, we could make it happen," Gossage said. "That's probably a long shot, but I guarantee that we could put a game on that would draw an unbelievable crowd. I think everybody would love to see them play again.
"If we can be a part of that, we’re game."
For now, it seems like a pipe dream for TMS to host a college football game. It would have be a game of that magnitude and that significance -- A&M and Texas renewing its rivalry on the football field for the first time since 2011.
Gossage pitched the possibility of hosting the Red River Showdown between Texas and Oklahoma at the track back in 2002. Oklahoma had more interest than Texas, and it didn’t get too far.
But Bristol showed that a football game can be deemed a success at a race track. It costs a lot of money to put it on, of course.
Tennessee and Virginia Tech were each paid more than $4 million for participating, and there were several expenses related to getting the field and stands set up for optimum viewing.
Gossage admitted that the logistics that go into hosting a football game is more complex at Texas, a 1.5-mile oval, compared to Bristol, a short track a little more than half-mile long.
“A football game doesn’t work as easily for us as it does for Bristol,” Gossage said. “The sightlines were amazingly good at Bristol. For us, we could put more people in, but what would your sightlines be? We’d have to add other seats in the end zone and things like that. We’ve got some disadvantages.
“But you’re only limited by your imagination. We can do anything you can imagine.”
That has been seen over the years as the track prides itself in hosting more than just races.
Even during race weeks, TMS has done everything from concerts to circus-like events in the infield to having the Harlem Globetrotters perform.
This weekend’s summer race will be no different. Outside of the NASCAR trucks and IndyCar races, TMS will have an "off-road ruckus" in the infield and open to fans with any ticket to the race.
The ruckus has a public obstacle course where fans can drive their own off-road vehicles on, plus Monster Truck exhibitions and various promotional giveaways.
It’s just another way that the track is trying to spark interest in the races. After all, there aren’t many household names to the casual sports fan these days in the IndyCar or truck races.
"The hallmark of this place is its bigness," Gossage said. "We’ve got the world’s biggest television screen and of course the races. But we do a lot of things that people don’t even know are taking place from trade shows to demos to a giant religious crusade coming here in the fall that is going to draw hundreds of thousands of people a day.
"Our size gives us a leg up on others."