On the evening before of one of the biggest sporting events of the year, Daytona International Speedway announced that Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be ran in front of a sellout crowd for the second year in a row.
The Great American Race is set to be one of the highest spectated sporting events of 2017. The World Center of Racing holds a capacity of 101,500 seats, not including the thousands of fans in suites and campers all around the track.
“The ticket demand for the DAYTONA 500 continues to be a constant in our sport,” said Daytona president Chip Wile. “Likewise, the race continues to be the perfect kick-off to a new NASCAR season, showcasing the unique and energized at-track experience that our sport – and our stadium – provides to our fans.
The attendance for this year’s Daytona 500 will surpass the numbers for a majority of the other recent major sporting events. This year’s Super bowl had a crowd size of 70,807. Last year’s MLB Game 7 attendance was 38,104. For a sport that has been slammed lately for having lower ratings and a declining fan base, a sellout crowd at NASCAR’s biggest race is a much needed positive.
“Sellout crowds races are a great thing for NASCAR. Most races don’t sellout like they used to 15 years ago,” said long-time NASCAR fan Aaron Fisher, who is attending his first Daytona 500 this weekend. “To see that NASCAR’s biggest event will have a higher attendance than many other market sporting events is really cool. I’m excited to get there Sunday and watch the race with 100,000 other racing fans.”
Sunday will be Monster Energy’s first Daytona 500 on board as the main title of NASCAR. They will have a huge presence with celebrities and activation all around the track for fans to enjoy.
Seven-time GRAMMY award winning group Lady Antebellum will take center stage before the race and perform a pre-race concert for the sellout crowd.
“The Great American Race will have one of today’s great American country music acts front-and-center for our fans to enjoy,” said Wile in a press release. “Lady Antebellum continues a long-standing DIS tradition of attracting major stars from the world of entertainment to the World Center of Racing and the DAYTONA 500.”
Multi-platinum recording artist Jordan Sparks will add to the list of celebrities that will be descending on Daytona Beach, FL on Sunday as she will perform the National Anthem ahead of the 59th annual Daytona 500.
“We’re thrilled to have Jordin Sparks be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona’s Wile said. “Jordin is an incredible talent and we look forward to her rendition of the National Anthem before the start of the 59th Great American Race.”
Star actor Owen Wilson will give the command to start the engines before the start of the race. And NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson will put up in the flag stand as he will wave the green flag over the forty cars at the start of the race.
The 59th annual Daytona 500 is set to get underway at 2:30ET and will be televised on FOX.
Christmas may be in December, but for hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans around the world and in person at Daytona, tomorrow is the biggest date on the calendar. The most anticipated moment in racing is here.
“This is the most prestigious event on the NASCAR schedule and a true American sports tradition,” said Wile. “Fans have always recognized those facts. This latest sellout, once again, reflects that recognition.”