This week I had the great opportunity to be a guest of Walt Disney World for the #ESPNatDisney FAM trip, and it gave me a chance to really connect with the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where I spend a good bit of time.
On any given day there are a ton of events going on at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, but today we were among children who were there to compete in the Disney Cup International, USSSA Elite Baseball World Series, and the AAU Summer Basketball Championships. It was great to hear their excitement, and it really gave me a different feel for the complex!
As we walked further into the Complex down to the New Balance Track & Field Complex, I started to realize how much I took for granted as I usually scurry in and out of the complex during the hustle and bustle of a runDisney race expo.
When we met up for our fun run around the complex to start our day at the facility, Faron Kelley said that the way he likes to explore a new city is by taking a run and that was what we were going to do on our early morning outing.
It was so nice to really slow down and watch all the great things going on around us.
Standing on the New Balance Track & Field Complex before our run we talked a little bit about the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and all the amazing events that are held there during the year.
Then we were off on our run, a quick 1.5 miles on the cross-country portion of the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run that is part of the runDisney The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.
Running around the facility was just so peaceful and beautiful!
And while I am not a fast runner at all, it was a lot of fun!
Also, I was totally stoked to see Goofy waiting for us at the Finish line! (Goofy gives a solid high five!)
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is amazing, and here are a few ‘Fun Facts’!
- The 230-acre ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 100 events and 350,000 athletes from more than 70 countries each year, is the leading multi-sports venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports.
- Home to AAU National Championships, Pop Warner Super Bowl, and National Cheer & Dance Championship, Atlanta Braves Spring Training, as well as Disney-created events such as the Disney Cup International, Disney Fit Challenge, and open registration tournaments & training camps.
- The centerpiece of the sports complex, Champion Stadium is a retro-style Major League Baseball ballpark that annually hosts MLB spring training (Atlanta Braves) and numerous amateur tournaments. With permanent seating and existing infrastructure, the facility can also host concerts, corporate hospitality functions, event opening ceremonies and other large gatherings.
- Maximum capacity for 11,500 guests, including 9,500 permanent upper and lower deck seats (80 percent are located between first and third base), plus a grass berm in left field that offers seating for an additional 2,000+ guests.
- Four luxury suites (all include indoor and outdoor seating areas), plus an additional suite that features a large conference room; two upper-level outdoor suites; and two mezzanine-level outdoor terraces.
Display booth equipped with state-of-the-art production equipment for managing in-stadium entertainment, including a 33′ 7″ wide by 21’7″ high jumbo screen which can display ESPN programming, customized videos, daily highlight reels and interviews from the sports complex.
- 2,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility with eight edit bays and uplinks to ESPN in Bristol, Conn., Los Angeles, and New York.
- 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including 3 jumbo screens that can capture and display footage, event highlights and interviews that will broadcast throughout the complex and on various Disney and ESPN platforms.
- The ESPN Production Center has produced over 2,000 hours of content for the ESPN family of networks this past year.
HP FIELD HOUSE
- 165,000-square-foot multi-sport indoor arena includes high arches and trusses and other architectural and design elements reminiscent of a classic 1950s style fieldhouse (capacity: 5,500). This multi-purpose facility can accommodate virtually any indoor sport that does not require ice, including basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, volleyball, martial arts, team handball, roller hockey, cheerleading and dance, trampoline and tumbling, indoor tennis, etc., in addition to concerts and conventions.
- The HP Creation Center offers guests a place to download, design and enhance commemorative event photos and images, then immediately produce and print them onsite. It also includes a retail area featuring a variety of imaging-related product options for athletes and consumers, such as creating life-size posters of action photos, wallpaper covering and other photo keepsakes.
- The fieldhouse has room for six full-size collegiate basketball courts (four on main level and two upstairs on auxiliary court).
- A state-of-the-art multi-sport fieldhouse, Jostens Center includes space for six college-size basketball courts, or 12 regulation-size volleyball courts, or two roller hockey rinks, and four locker rooms, two conference rooms and two officials’ rooms.
HESS SPORTS FIELDS
- The Sports Fields venue, sponsored by Amerada Hess Corporation, are large enough to accommodate a variety of outdoor sports — soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball, field hockey, rugby, softball, cricket, etc. The seven grass playing surfaces and four fields may be used collectively for one large event or multiple events may take place simultaneously on various fields.
- Permanent bleacher seating is available at each field and additional bleachers may be added for larger events (capacity: 10,000).
BASEBALL QUADRAPLEX/ SOFTBALL COMPLEX
- The Baseball Quadraplex includes four professional baseball fields and a half field (used for infield drills). The quad annually hosts MLB players during spring training and minor league players during Rookie League (Gulf Coast League) and Fall Instructional League seasons, as well as camps, clinics and tournaments for amateur and youth players.
- The Softball Complex includes six fields that can accommodate fastpitch and slowpitch softball, as well as youth baseball (12 and younger).
- Tennis complex includes 10 “HAR TRU” green clay courts, including a stadium court, and can accommodate events ranging from youth clinics to major professional tournaments. Formerly hosted U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships on ATP Tour (1997-2000).
TRACK & FIELD COMPLEX
- World-class 400-meter polyurethane Track & Field Complex meets IAAF world governing body standards and measurements, and is consistent with Olympic T&F venues throughout the world.
- The Track & Field Complex features an adaptable Cross Country Course.
ESPN WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS GRILL
- An enlarged and enhanced sports-themed fast casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating located across from Champion Stadium. The restaurant contains a full bar and menu items include burgers, pizza, signature sandwiches and salads, along with a variety of desserts and beverages.
- Includes high-definition TV screens, live radio remote capabilities and a SportsCenter desk.
ESPN INNOVATION LAB
- New home for the Emerging Technology group at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
- Facility develops various broadcast-related technologies that eventually may make their way to air on ESPN Networks.
- ESPN has utilized the sports complex and its numerous sporting events to build and test future on-air applications, such as player and object tracking and player game simulation.
Retail facilities: Three sports-themed merchandise locations reside at the sports complex, while customized merchandise vehicles are located throughout the other venues during individual events.
The Welcome Center provides assistance to sports complex guests during their visit to Walt Disney World Resort, including planning for theme park visits, dining and golf reservations.
– See more at: http://disneysportsnews.com/fact-sheets/2011/03/29/espn-wide-world-of-sports-complex-facility-breakdown/#sthash.uqfsCx7K.dpuf
I will be writing more about my #ESPNatDisney experience! It was a great few days full of information!
DISCLOSURE: I was a guest of Walt Disney World for the #ESPNatDisney FAM trip, but all opinions are my own.
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