Monday, December 12, 2016

Wildcats and Cougars to Converge on Home Field of Local Wildcats

Wildcats and Cougars to Converge on Home Field of Local Wildcats
Two NAIA Teams Win ‘Race to Daytona’ to Battle for Football Championship Title

Press release submitted by Tonya West, Communications Coordinator Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.  – “Daytona!” exclaimed Baker University wide receiver Clarence Clark when his team made a comeback win to secure its spot against University of St. Francis to compete in in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Football Championship game in Daytona Beach.

The Baker University Wildcats and Saint Francis University Cougars will be scratching it out on NCAA Bethune-Cookman University’s (B-CU) home field at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium Saturday, December 17 at 6 p.m.  Gates open at noon for tailgating festivities. The game will be televised by ESPN-3. Tickets are $20 each and are available through Ticketmaster.

“We look forward to this championship football series finale every December,” said Daytona Beach Area CVB Executive Director Lori Campbell Baker. “With so many holiday festivities for the fans and family to enjoy, too, it’s just one big celebration all around.”

Family-Fun Events during Game Week
In addition to December to Remember and Riverfront Holiday Dazzle holiday festivities, the shopping scene just got even more fun and affordable with 70+ new shops at Tanger Outlets. Popular places for family time include: the beach itself, 23 miles of sparkling shoreline; Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse; Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier; Daytona International Speedway; Museum of Arts & Sciences; Cici & Hyatt Brown Museum of Art; eco-tourism activities in the area’s plentiful preserves, parks and trails; paddleboarding on the Intracoastal Waterway and Spruce Creek; and so many more.

NFL Players Lead Football Football Panel
This is the third year the NAIA Championship Football Game has been held in Daytona Beach and it will see two first-ever events: Football Combine and Football Panel. It is projected that 100 students who play football throughout Florida and nationally will be part of the game-day Football Combine, December 17, at Municipal Stadium, 1-3 p.m. 

“Presented by The Sun Conference, it’s an opportunity we’re providing student athletes to be seen by collegiate coaches and scouts,” said Jacqueline Pannell, the City of Daytona Beach’s Cultural Services and Community Events Manager. “It’s drawn almost 50 students from throughout Florida - Apalachicola, Fort Pierce and Naples, plus one from Kansas.” Assisting with the clinic will be Dan Lundy, Mainland High School’s assistant football coach and Billy Gahagan, Mainland High School’s new athletics director.
Sitting on the Football Panel will be several local, state and nationally-known football athletes, including: Ernie Mills, Sr., who played with the Pittsburgh Steelers for nine seasons, including one Super Bowl bout; Bruce McNorton, a local resident who’s the holder of two Super Bowl rings and is a Western Kentucky University graduate who played nine seasons with the Detroit Lions and one season with the Miami Dolphins; Deuce McAlister, President of Waste Pro, Louisiana, who played with the New Orleans Saints;  and Alvin Wyatt, NCAA B-CU coach and former B-CU football player who was drafted by Philadelphia Eagles.

Travel and Ticket Information
Both Delta and US Airways offer flights directly into Daytona Beach International Airport. For fans arriving via car, Daytona Beach is an easy drive, and the destination is conveniently located at the intersections of I-4 and I-95 – with access via A1A and U.S. Highway 1.

NAIA fans and families can book their stays now at the official fan hotel by calling and
requesting the NAIA rate: Best Western Plus Aku Tiki Inn. The official host hotels for the teams are the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort and Plaza Resort and Spa, both selected for their convenient access to the city’s key visitor areas.

For ticket information, visit Visitor Guide to the National Championship.
For destination information, visit
For social sharing, connect with the event on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Daytona Beach Area
Discover the new Daytona Beach and its surrounding area, a resurging destination along Florida’s East Coast comprising eight distinct communities. Recognized worldwide for its annual events including Bike Week, Biketoberfest®, the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Daytona 500, Daytona Beach’s famed heritage also claims the headquarters of LPGA and NASCAR -- and is home to Daytona International Speedway, the ‘World Center of Racing,’ with its recent $400 million “re-imagining” project.   With more than 12,000 beds, the destination boasts accommodations for all lifestyles and budgets including resorts, B&Bs, hotels and everything in between.  In 2016, TripAdvisor named Daytona Beach one of the “10 Most Affordable Beach Vacations on Florida’s East Coast” and one of “25 Most Popular Summer Vacation Rental Spots in the US.” Visitors can enjoy the quintessential vacation experience beginning with the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier, or choose from a surprising list of attractions and cultural venues and a colorful culinary scene.  New in 2017: ONE DAYTONA is a premier mixed-use retail, dining and entertainment destination across from Daytona International Speedway. Phase One of One Daytona will include national anchor tenants Bass Pro Shops®, Cobb Theatres (opened December 2016) and an exclusive Marriott Autograph Collection® hotel called The DAYTONA. Also coming in 2017 is the area’s first Westin, the upscale historic Streamline Hotel and more. With 23 miles of world-famous beaches ideal for shelling, swimming and surfing, it is no surprise Daytona Beach was chosen as a Best Florida Attraction and Best Spring Family Break Beach Destination in the Top 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contests sponsored by USA TODAY.  To order a complimentary comprehensive Official Visitors Guide or book a stay, visit For real-time updates, visit or

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