DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - In a surprising and perhaps exciting development, the Daytona Beach area may be home to a major American sports team for the first time in its history. The Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly in communication with Daytona International Speedway about playing there while TIAA Bank Field undergoes renovations.
DIS President Frank Kelleher confirmed the possibility last week in comments made to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "Daytona International Speedway is a world-renowned sports and entertainment venue and hosts a full schedule of events each year," Kelleher said in that report. "As good neighbors in the Florida sports community, DIS will be speaking with the Jacksonville Jaguars to see if we can assist them with their potential upcoming facility needs around our scheduled events."
The Jaguars are also considering multiple other facilities in North and Central Florida, including the football stadiums used by the University of Florida and University of North Florida. They're also considering Camping World Stadium in Orlando, home of the XFL's Orlando Guardians.
Though Jaguars President Mark Lamping acknowledged the situation would be unorthodox, the speedway has hosted football games before. In 1959 it hosted multiple home games for Father Lopez Catholic High School, the same year as the inaugural Daytona 500. It again hosted football when Bethune-Cookman University played multiple games there in 1974 and 1975.
More recently, the speedway was home to Daytona Soccer Fest during 4th of July weekend last year, demonstrating the facility's capacity to host large-scale field sports events on the infield grass.