BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
Daytona Beach will host the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) football championship game in December at Municipal Stadium and Mayor Derrick Henry already is promoting it to those interested in watching some good football.
He can be seen encouraging tourists to visit the area in a YouTube video posted by the Halifax Area Advertising Authority.
The authority is a volunteer board appointed by the Volusia County Council that spends millions on tourism advertising each year.
“Welcome to the world’s most famous beach where we are proud of our 23 miles of hard packed sand, which are ideal for biking, jogging and a little football,” the mayor says as he catches a football by the ocean’s edge. “We hope to see you on Dec. 20 at the NAIA national football championship.”
Sixteen teams will qualify for the Football Championship Series with three rounds of competition played on campus sites prior to the national championship game.
“We are extremely excited to have our Football National Championship make its way to Florida,” Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO said in a release. “We are confident that the City of Daytona Beach will continue to move the needle forward for this tremendous event and provide an outstanding experience for out student-athletes, coaches and fans.’’
The event will be held in Daytona Beach beginning in 2014 for three consecutive years. The first of the three title contests will be played on Dec. 20 with the 2015 game taking place on Dec. 19. The 2016 tourney starts Dec. 17.
“We have an excellent football venue, and I’m excited to showcase our community to NAIA’s athletes, their families and fans,” Henry related. “The annual Football National Championship will provide a positive economic boost for our community during one of our shoulder seasons. I look forward to following NAIA’s 2014 season and watching the excitement build about traveling to Daytona Beach.”
Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium is the home field of NCAA Division I Bethune-Cookman University while also serving several local high schools.