The Daytona 500 Is Sold Out, With 101,000 Fans Expected

by TK Sanders

If you were hoping to score a ticket to this year’s Daytona 500, then unfortunately you’re out of luck.

The Daytona International Speedway announced today that they had sold all grandstand seats and RV spots ahead of the February 20 race. Considering the enormity of the superspeedway, the sellout means that racing fans are itching to get back to normal after COVID limited ticket sales last season.

Daytona International holds over 100,000 people — similar to that of a major college football stadium. This means the event will become the second-highest attended race of the pandemic era. The 2021 Indianapolis 500 sold close to 135,000 tickets, which accounted for just 40% of the possible gate.

The 2020 Daytona 500 occurred just weeks before the COVID pandemic began nearly two years ago, so it didn’t face any ticketing restrictions.

According to Daytona, race fans who purchased 2022 tickets paid between $100 to $400 for grandstand tickets. The price depends on the seat. They also offered multi-day packages and experiential packages, as well.

How will the Daytona 500 look in the COVID era?

The 2021 Daytona 500 allowed just 30,000 fans inside the gates. Considering the winter COVID spikes at the time as well as the pandemic outlook, 30,000 fans was considered a large gathering. Few states besides Florida would have allowed such a gathering whatsoever.

The superspeedway has implemented a mask mandate for indoor stadium access as a precaution. Otherwise, it seems the weekend will be business as usual.

Business as usual, that is, except for NASCAR’s massive new car reveal. The Daytona 500 will introduce the racing league’s all-new seventh-generation NASCAR Cup Series car. NASCAR has been teasing and hyping the new design for years leading up to this season.

The new designs boast many new enhancements, including composite bodywork that better resembles the company models that the cars race under. The new cars also sport larger wheels and tires, a five-speed sequential transmission, and an upgraded, fully-independent suspension system.

The early days of the NASCAR season

The NASCAR season unofficially begins with an exhibition on the weekend of Feb. 6. But racing fans look toward the Daytona 500 as the real start. If you are visiting Los Angeles in early February, though, you can score Busch Light Clash tickets at the Coliseum for just $65.

Yes, you read that right: NASCAR will host the Clash in the famed LA Coliseum. How, you may ask? Coliseum officials hired a construction company to pave over the entire field. According to the pavers, the only difference between a temporary track and a permanent track is one less inch of asphalt.

The massive physical undertaking of building a racetrack in a stadium doesn’t come with much risk, however. The Coliseum, once home to the Rams, now only hosts a rugby team and some multimedia experiences like LA movie nights.

Both the Daytona 500 and Busch Light Clash will air on FOX.