Advertisement
  1. Sports

MLS at Daytona International Speedway? It could happen

The track would need a giant platform with grass on top of it to make the logistics work, but...
Instead of cars and pit crews, imagine Daytona International Speedway hosting a soccer game here. (2017 Times file photo)
Published Feb. 12

As Daytona International Speedway continues to reinvent itself and reach new fans by hosting non-traditional events, it doesn’t sound as if the next step will be a football game.

A NASCAR track (Bristol) has already hosted one of those, when Virginia Tech and Tennessee met in 2016.

“It’s been done now,” Daytona president Chip Wile said recently when I spoke to him about this story on the speedway’s transformation. “We don’t want to do that. We are the premiere motorsports facility, and we’re going to do something nobody else has ever done before.”

Something like … a soccer game.

Wile said the track has talked with the MLS about a game (just as it’s talked with the NFL and NHL). The sport is growing in the U.S., as Wile knows. His Atlanta-based family won’t go to a Falcons game, but they have season tickets to Atlanta United FC.

“I think having a soccer game here would be really interesting,” Wile said.

If you’re curious about the logistics, here’s how it would work: The speedway would put a platform —maybe six inches, maybe a foot — on the existing grass, from the apron at the bottom of the track almost to the wall on pit road. The grass would go on top of the platform, and the ends could be a VIP seating area.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Since he entered the NFL in 2015, Jameis Winston has been responsible for a league-high 87 giveaways, including six Sunday. JEFF HAYNES  |  Associated Press
    Sunday was a tough day for the players taken at the top of the 2015 NFL draft. The Titans at least are realizing what the Bucs are denying: They have a quarterback problem.
  2. Georgia's D'Andre Walker (15) tackles Florida's Dameon Pierce (27) in the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville last season. Times
    The Gators are still who we thought they were after the LSU loss. But Georgia...
  3. The Lightning's alternate "disrupt the night" jerseys will be back for weekend games at Amalie Arena this season. SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    “Disrupt the night” jerseys return for weekend games, starting on Saturday.
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) makes a touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP
    An ugly loss leaves a sour taste, and several players would like to get back on the field immediately to right the ship.
  5. The Rays posted this  message of appreciation on their Twitter account. RAYS BASEBALL  |  Twitter
    An ad in the Tampa Bay Times from the team and Twitter messages from players cap the season that included playoffs for the first time since 2013.
  6. Clearwater Central Catholic junior Kylie White, left and junior Aubrey Geis are gearing up for a long postseason run. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Not much change at the top as teams head into postseason play.
  7. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates his touchdown against the Chiefs during the second half of the game in Kansas City. ED ZURGA  |  AP
    Road To Miami: Quarterback play continues to soar, for some teams - allowing us to realize who’s coming
  8. USF point guard LaQuincy Rideau (3) was named to the coaches preseason All-American Athletic Conference first team on Monday. JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Bulls point guard Laquincy Rideau is a first-team pick on the preseason all-conference squad
  9. Simone Biles of the United States shows her five gold medals she won at the Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Sunday. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP) MARIJAN MURAT  |  AP
    Winning her 24th and 25th world championship medals in beam and floor Sunday put the United States gymnast atop the all-time medal charts.
  10. Pat and Richard McBride of Leicester have been Bucs fans for 34 years. They've suffered through some bad Tampa Bay seasons but remain loyalty, unlike fans of the other team owned by the Glazer Family, Manchester United. Eduardo A. Encina/Tampa Bay Times
    #GlazersOut has become a popular slogan and hashtag as the team battles on-field woes and reported financial issues. But “Manchester U. fans are good at one thing and that’s complaining,” said one...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement