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NWSL match to headline debut Daytona Soccer Fest

Daytona International Speedway has announced that a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) match will headline the inaugural Daytona Soccer Fest at the home of NASCAR’s iconic Daytona 500 race.

With plans having first been sketched out in February 2020 for an event to launch in 2021, the debut Soccer Fest will now be held on July 2-3. Daytona has teamed up with the Torneos agency to announce that the NWSL will join the festival with an official league match between the hometown Orlando Pride and Racing Louisville.

The regular season match, which will conclude proceedings at 8pm local time on July 3, will move to the newly built soccer field for this first-of-its-kind event inside Daytona International Speedway on the grass field between pit road and the trioval.

The NWSL match will be preceded by a concert from Chance the Rapper and a Legends Game featuring an Americas and Europe team captained by Argentina’s Javier Mascherano and France’s David Trezeguet, respectively.

On July 2, Colombia’s ‘El Clásico Vallecaucano’ will be held outside the country for the first time, with Deportivo Cali and America de Cali set to resume their rivalry. This match will be followed by a concert from Latin Grammy Award-winning Rauw Alejandro and Latin artist Adassa.

Running across the day, the World Freestyle Soccer Association will present its first ever WFFA U.S. Open. The event will feature some of the best freestyle football players from around the world.

“The two-day lineup at Soccer Fest is very impressive, and now we have a nice local angle with our friends with the Orlando Pride,” said Frank Kelleher, president of Daytona International Speedway.

“Soccer Fest is going to provide a little something for the entire family – incredible soccer competition and a wide array of entertainment. At Daytona International Speedway, we are known for hosting world-class events, and Soccer Fest fits that bill. It’s going to be one heck of a July 4th weekend celebration.”

Mark Wilf, Orlando Pride chairman, added: “The NWSL and women’s soccer continue to grow each day, and we’re happy to be part of this historic opportunity to showcase our club, our players and our league at one of the most iconic venues in American sports. It’s an honour for our club and league to continue to lead the charge for women’s professional soccer and to elevate our players with this marquee matchup at Daytona Soccer Fest.”

Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota has also joined the festival as the exclusive automotive sponsor of Daytona Soccer Fest. Toyota will provide a ‘thrill ride area’, which promises to offer fans a chance to experience first-hand the Daytona International Speedway track. 

Fans will also be treated to a variety of soccer themed games and activities at the Fan zone area. Tickets have been priced at $99 (£79/€94) for a day pass, and $149 for a two-day pass.

Image: Daytona International Speedway