Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium was renamed to Daytona Stadium, among other changes announced at a press conference held at DME Sports Academy.
After 30 years, Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium is getting a new look — and a new name.
DME Sports Academy, the Daytona Beach-based training academy that caters primarily to high school athletes, announced at a press conference on Tuesday, June 26, that the stadium has been renamed to Daytona Stadium. It’s one of the many changes the stadium will be undergoing, according to DME, which signed a 30-year lease on the stadium in February.
In addition to being the home field of local Division I school Bethune-Cookman University, the stadium also hosts the home games of Mainland High School and Seabreeze High School.
“They say, if it is meant to happen eventually, let it happen immediately, and it has,” said Mike Panaggio, who founded DME as a marketing company with his brother Dan Panaggio. “It’s a whole new game.”
Scheduled renovations and improvements include: a new exterior, a redesigned and expanded concourse area, renovated VIP space with theater seating, a fourth floor lounge, a new merchandise store, a new menu for concessions, a new signage system and new locker rooms. Renovations for the stadium are estimated to cost about $20 million.
In addition, there are also plans to eventually build a 100,000-square-foot fieldhouse. The fieldhouse, which would be constructed on the LPGA Boulevard side of the stadium, would include NCAA Division I-level locker rooms, a performance training center and a recovery center. The fieldhouse isn’t expected to be completed until 2020.
All other renovations are expected to be completed ahead of the start of the football season. The high school season begins on Aug. 16, and Bethune-Cookman’s home-opener is on Sept. 8. The grand re-opening of Daytona Stadium is currently scheduled for Aug. 9. The first home football game of the season takes place on Aug. 16, with Seabreeze taking on Titusville.
“The high school football season will never be the same,” said Dean O’Brien, the stadium’s new CEO.
In addition to football games, the stadium plans to host events from other sports, including a lacrosse tournament and a police versus fireman soccer game. The stadium is expecting to host non-sporting events as well. The first-annual STEMfest (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), which will be held on Sept. 23-25, is predicted to be one of the stadium’s biggest events in the fall.
“We’re trying to create an environment that everybody will love and enjoy,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien added that community support is critical to the success of the stadium and the events it hosts.
“Without community support, we’re not going to be able to do it. We need to support everybody,” he said. “Think about the investment you're making. This is an investment in our youth. We’re making a bet that our youth is the key. Youth sports is the key to a lot of areas.”