ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Celebrates 20 Years

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(Mar. 28, 2017): ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex celebrated its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, March 28th. Disney Sports executives Maribeth Bisienere and Faron Kelley marked the occasion with a special on-field moment during the Atlanta Braves-Baltimore Orioles spring training game at the sports complex. Reggie Williams, former Cincinnati Bengals star and founding executive of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Braves game, which also featured 20th anniversary merchandise and music and trivia from 1997. (Mar. 28, 2017): ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex celebrated its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, March 28th. Disney Sports executives Maribeth Bisienere and Faron Kelley marked the occasion with a special on-field moment during the Atlanta Braves-Baltimore Orioles spring training game at the sports complex. Reggie Williams, former Cincinnati Bengals star and founding executive of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Braves game, which also featured 20th anniversary merchandise and music and trivia from 1997. (Mar. 28, 2017): ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex celebrated its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, March 28th. Disney Sports executives Maribeth Bisienere and Faron Kelley marked the occasion with a special on-field moment during the Atlanta Braves-Baltimore Orioles spring training game at the sports complex. Reggie Williams, former Cincinnati Bengals star and founding executive of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Braves game, which also featured 20th anniversary merchandise and music and trivia from 1997. More than 27,000 athletes from across the country, including thousands of Orlando-area athletes, are expected to bump, set and spike during the 43rd annual AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships in Central Florida beginning June 18. More than 40,000 spectators, 9,000 coaches and 400 college coaches and take part in the tournament, held on 177 courts between ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort and Orange County Convention Center. (July 13-18, 2016): Approximately 4,800 elite athletes from across the nation will go head-to-head at the 16U/17U AAU Boys’ Basketball National Championships (July 13-18) and Super Showcase (July 20-24) events, which returns to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort this week. (Dec. 3-10, 2016): The North West Raiders beat the Santa Clara Lions to win the Division I Varsity 2016 Pop Warner Super Bowl. This premier youth football event has been held annually at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort for 20 years. (Photo by Gerardo Mora / IPAPHOTO.COM for POP WARNER) The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts more than 350 events a year and is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation. Cheerleading is just one of the 70 different sports the 230-acre complex accommodates, including soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, gymanstics and lacrosse. Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports in 2013 after first hosting the WTT Smash Hits celebrity tennis match in 1997. The 1997 charity event featured tennis stars Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Scott Draper, Mirjana Lucic, Mary Pierce, Pam Shriver, Venus and Serena Williams and Todd Woodbridge. At the end of the night, Team Elton (Sampras, V. Williams, Draper and Shriver) edged Team Billie Jean (Agassi, S. Williams, Woodbridge and Lucic), 27-25. Fireworks fill the late night sky at the start of the 2011 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Oct. 1, 2011 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. More than 12,500 athletes registered for the nighttime 13-1-mile race at Walt Disney World Resort. In its second year, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon stepped off at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex before coursing through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and finishing at Epcot Food & Wine Festival. (Matt Stroshane, photographer) The 20th Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna begins with a bang as fireworks light the sky at the start line Jan. 13, 2013 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 26.2-mile event coursed runners through all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. A record 65,000 runners will take part in a variety of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events, including the Family Fun Run 5K, Mickey Mile and runDisney Kids Races, along with the half and full marathons. (Preston Mack, photographer) ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 300 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features: HP Field House, a 165,000-square-foot field house which seats 5,500 for basketball; Champion Stadium ballpark (cap. 11,500); Hess Sports Fields, which include multiple baseball, softball and soccer fields; Jostens Center, an 80,000-square-foot multi-sport fieldhouse; and the Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology group to develop ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, that can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art Production Center that features eight edit bays and links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. (Garth Vaughan, Photographer) ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 300 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features: HP Field House, a 165,000-square-foot field house which seats 5,500 for basketball; Champion Stadium ballpark (cap. 11,500); Hess Sports Fields, which include multiple baseball, softball and soccer fields; Jostens Center, an 80,000-square-foot multi-sport fieldhouse; and the Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology group to develop ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, that can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art Production Center that features eight edit bays and links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. (Garth Vaughan, Photographer) (Jan. 25-29, 2017): Stars of the NFC team celebrate their victory in the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, held at EPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The Pro Bowl Skills Showdown was a part of a reimagined NFL Pro Bowl Week, held in Orlando, Fla., for the first time. The weeklong celebration of football at all levels included activities such as the NFL Pro Bowl Experience, AFC and NFC practices, a 5K run at Epcot, a celebration parade at Magic Kingdom and many other activities throughout Orlando. Prince Harry interacts with audience members at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Invictus Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Prince Harry is the founder of the Invictus Games, which began in 2014 and is the only international adaptive sporting event for injured active duty and veteran service members. (May 8-12, 2016): UK competitors lock hands before competing in the triple-amputee heat of indoor rowing. More than 500 competitors from 14 nations compete in 10 adaptive sports – archery, cycling, indoor rowing, power lifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis in the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Invictus Games are the only adaptive sporting event for injured active duty and veteran service members. (Disney) Feb 09, 2017 – Lake Buena Vista , FL

Coach Tom Shaw oversees the training of current and future NFL players at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Tampa Bay Bucs QB James Winston warms up before starting QB drills.

CREDIT: Preston Mack / WDW Photo (Feb. 2, 2016): Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott and other NFL rookies and veterans train at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida with Tom Shaw. Shaw (renowned performance trainer) trains NFL, MLB, NBA and college athletes at the Disney sports complex. Brazilian soccer star Kaka poses with Mickey Mouse at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex June 11, 2012 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Kaka visited the sports complex while on vacation at Walt Disney World Resort. Along with Disney International Cup, the 270-acre sports complex boasts a variety of soccer events, from Pro Soccer Classic and Disney’s Soccer Showcase to a new partnership with Serie A club AS Roma. (Ali Nasser, photographer). While vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort, Brazilian soccer star Marcelo, who plays as Real Madrid’s defensive anchor, poses June 30, 2015 with Mickey Mouse at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Brazilian soccer star visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to coach and play with youth athletes as a part of Disney Soccer Academy, the annual two-week event that offers players the opportunity to train on world-class fields with international soccer stars, including English Premier League pros. National Consortium for Academics & Sports (NCAS) inducts Muhammad Ali into its Hall of Fame. Celebration at the sports complex includes special ceremony renaming Victory Way to Muhammad Ali Way for the day. Legendary sports journalist Dick Schaap serves as Master of Ceremonies. First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a fitness activity with local children at the Magic of Healthy Living event at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The event celebrated the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and recognized Disney’s efforts to promote healthier lifestyles among kids and families. Team U.S.A. track and field Olympic veterans and hopefuls train with renowned track and field coach Brooks Johnson at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 2016 team includes Olympic medalists like LaShawn Merrit (Right) and Jason Richardson (Middle)

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