With the Jacksonville Jaguars set to begin a $1 billion renovation project on TIAA Bank Field, the team needs an interim home for the foreseeable future. There are a few minor league stadiums and small college facilities in the surrounding Jacksonville area, but that likely won’t suffice for an NFL franchise.
It was first reported on Friday that the Jaguars had approached Daytona International Speedway officials about playing games at the venerable, world-renowned racetrack.
.@Jaguars plan to meet with @Daytona International Speedway officials in the coming weeks about the possibility of using the race track as a temporary home stadium for the NFL team for two years as it renovates @TIAABankField, per @BreakGround. https://t.co/19gHyOv94J
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) June 9, 2023
According to Racer, Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher confirmed those reports on Saturday, stating that officials will meet with those from the Jaguars about becoming a temporary home for the team, despite being about an hour and a half from Jacksonville.
“Daytona International Speedway is a world-renowned sports and entertainment venue and hosts a full schedule of events each year,” said Kelleher. “As good neighbors in the Florida sports community, DIS will be speaking with the Jackson Jaguars to see if we can assist them with their potential upcoming facility needs around our scheduled events.”
This is a bit of a different approach than the Los Angeles Chargers, who elected to play at an MLS Stadium that had a capacity of under 30,000 while they were waiting for SoFi Stadium in Inglewood to be built. Chargers fans found themselves constantly outnumbered by fans of opposing teams, but that seems unlikely to happen if the Jaguars were to make Daytona their temporary home.
While racetracks are not unfamiliar with hosting football games, that hasn’t happened since 2016, and it was a college football game at that. The Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Tech Hokies faced off in the “Battle at Bristol,” where they competed in a regular-season college football game at the well-known Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.
It’ll be interesting to see if this ultimately transpires, but an NFL game with a stadium capacity of 101,500 people would make for a lot of fun.