USL Division III executives have visited seven different cities over the past 10 days to talk about the potential for professional soccer, and that number will increase to eight when the league makes an official site visit to Daytona Beach, Florida, on Friday.
The Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach metropolitan area has more than 635,000 people and is the home to Bethune–Cookman University and Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, as well as the headquarters of NASCAR, the International Motor Sports Association and the International Speedway Corporation and minor league baseball team the Daytona Tortugas (Class A-Advanced).
"Daytona Beach is well-known for many reasons, especially for being the home of the historic Daytona International Speedway, and so I am extremely eager to visit to the city to learn more about the potential for professional soccer," USL Division III Senior Vice President Steven Short told USLD3.com. "Daytona Beach would fit perfectly into the regional competition of USL Division III, benefiting the teams and the fans."
Since the new professional league formally launched in April of 2017, USL Division III has conducted meetings with city officials and business leaders in 36 different markets across the United States. Last week, league officials toured Charleston, West Virginia, and Roanoke, Virginia, before returning to High Point and visiting Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Hickory, North Carolina. On Monday and Tuesday, executives visited Lansing, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, for a second time, meeting with potential ownership in each city.
Looking ahead, Short and USL Division III Business Development Vice President Josh Keller will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota, next week to speak with numerous sports commissions from cities across the U.S.
The month of May is also set to be an important one for the new professional league, with major announcements on the horizon. Currently, USL Division III has named three founding members – South Georgia Tormenta FC, FC Tucson and Greenville Pro Soccer – ahead of its inaugural season in 2019.