Disney’s Wide World of Sports™ Complex
They sprint to the finish line at the same track, leap for
rebounds in the same fieldhouse, and score runs and goals on
the same perfectly manicured fields of dreams. Only this is not
a fantasy. Rather, it is an everyday reality at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.
Just a line-drive's distance from the theme parks of Walt Disney World Resort,
a 220-acre multi-sport facility annually hosts 150 events in more than 30 sports.
From aerobics to wrestling and all the "balls" in between, sports enthusiasts never
know what or whom they will see. It is the ultimate destination for competitors and
fans alike -- something for everyone who loves the exhilaration of sports.
Imagine seeing All Pro linebacker Derrick Brooks lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
in wind sprints during the team's NFL training camp. On another field, 15-year-olds
from Argentina compete in an international cricket exhibition. Inside The Milk House,
100 girls basketball teams compete in an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Championship.
Next door youth baseball teams slug it out inside Cracker Jack Stadium, the same facility used
by the Atlanta Braves during Major League Baseball spring training. Meanwhile, softball squads
from across the country compete on multiple fields for a national fastpitch title. The complex
resembles a modern-day Olympic Village. It's buzzing with activity -- a normal day at the world's
premier sports destination.
"Sports represents one of the most exhilarating elements of our society, and we celebrate that passion
for athletics every day at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex," says Reggie Williams,
the former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker and current vice president of Disney Sports Attractions.
"Thousands of athletes train and compete at our world-class facilities each year,
from the professional and world-class elite to youth-sport athletes who emulate
their heroes in recreational competitions. Disney's Wide World of Sports provides
opportunities to athletes of all ages and abilities who are driven to participate."
Disney's Wide World of Sports has made an indelible mark on the world's sports
landscape since its first pitch on March 28, 1997. Hundreds of thousands of athletes,
ages four to 99, have traveled from around the world for a chance to make their mark on these fields of dreams.
The sports complex design boasts tall towers and seemingly endless archways.
The stunning "Florida Picturesque" style, designed by Washington,
D.C.-based architect David Schwarz, includes a pair of signature
facilities -- Cracker Jack Stadium, a two-tiered 7,500-seat retro
baseball ballpark, and The Milk House, a 5,500-seat old-style indoor
fieldhouse that is adorned with banners and inspiring images of got milk?
campaign sports celebrities. In August 2004 another world-class venue was completed,
the 20-acre Hess Sports Fields addition, which offers four new baseball/softball diamonds
and four new multi-sport fields.
Other sports complex venues include: the baseball quadraplex, the track and field
complex, a six-field softball complex, a 10-court tennis facility (with center court stadium),
and five existing sports fields, which were collectively renamed Hess Sports Fields South in the
spring of 2004 in recognition of the venue's new sponsor.
Amateur Athletic Union championships, the Pop Warner Super Bowl, Atlanta Braves spring training
and Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp are just a handful of the annual events at Disney's Wide World of Sports.