“We’re creating a great community space that has a foundation of sports, music and community,” said Dean O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of DME. “Daytona Stadium and DME are creating new jobs in the area and helping to convert Daytona Beach into a sports and venue-oriented community.”
DME – a local sports academy – signed a 30-year lease to manage what used to be known as Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium after city commissioners unanimously approved the contract in February. As part of that agreement, DME was required to make at least $2 million in infrastructure improvements.
Bleacher seating capacity will remain at around 10,000 as many of the renovations will focus on visible public areas like the concourse and concession stands. The former will be redesigned and expanded, while the latter will see pizza, popcorn and ice cream added to the existing menu.
There’s plans for a running track on the 64-acre property, along with a retail store selling the gear of the schools which use the facility the most: the football teams of Mainland and Seabreeze high schools on Friday nights in the fall and Bethune-Cookman University on Saturdays in the fall.
“We want kids to grow up with amazing facilities where they can train and help build their lives as team players and leaders,” O’Brien added. “Hopefully, later in life, they will take what they learned and come back and help further the community.”
Also in the works are a renovated VIP space with theater-style seating and a new “open air” VIP club on the stadium’s fourth floor, one that O’Brien says will feature clear views of Daytona International Speedway on the east side.
Long-term, DME plans to create a 50,000 to 100,000 square-foot field house on the LPGA Boulevard side of the stadium, featuring separate locker rooms for home and away teams as well as a performance & training center and a recovery center.
O’Brien says the locker rooms will be up to NCAA Division I standards and the field house will offer enough space to host all kinds of community events.
“We are very bullish on what we think we can do for the sports economy in Daytona Beach, Volusia County and Central Florida,” noted O’Brien. “It’s not just about what we can do for our teams, but the impact we can have on youth athletics.”
Expect some of the renovations – including the stadium facade, concourse and VIP areas – to be done by August of this year. DME hopes to have everything else in place by fall 2020.