Daytona International Speedway to host soccer, music festival in 2021

An artist's impression of Daytona Soccer Fest (Credit: DSI)

Nascar venue Daytona International Speedway has announced that it will stage a two-day soccer and music festival during July 4 weekend in 2021.

As part of the inaugural Daytona Soccer Fest, a soccer field will be built at the facility in Daytona, Florida, and stage an exhibition match between professional teams from North and South America. It will mark the first time that a Nascar racetrack will feature a professional soccer match.

The event – which is being organized in partnership with Latin American sports and entertainment company Torneos – will also feature concerts, ride alongs, carnival rides, water slides, a fishing tournament held at Lake Lloyd and an esports competition, among other attractions.

“The inaugural Daytona Soccer Fest will be a groundbreaking event,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “We’re always looking to add new events to our already busy calendar and to be able to host a professional international soccer match in the tri-oval along with other family fun-filled activities on the July 4 Weekend is an incredible opportunity to showcase our state-of-the-art facility.”

The move comes after Nascar ended the long-standing tradition of holding races on July 4 or the nearest weekend at Daytona International Speedway as part of its revamped schedule. The facility also stages the  historic and prestigious Daytona 500.

According to AutoWeek, the temporary soccer field will be made of artificial turf and cost $1m to construct. It was also reported that there is a five-year agreement for Soccer Fest at the venue.

There are some pre-existing links between professional soccer and racetracks in the United States.

United Soccer League Championship team Austin Bold play at Bold Stadium, which is located adjacent to the Grand Plaza at Circuit of The Americas. After a deal was finally reached, Major League Soccer’s Nashville SC is building a soccer-specific stadium directly next to the historic Fairgrounds Speedway, which it is hoped will stage Nascar races in the future.

The Daytona 500 was stopped due to persistent rain after 20 laps on Sunday afternoon, forcing postponement until Monday (February 17) 4pm ET.