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ESPN Wide World of Sports Archives

February 21, 2017

Atlanta Braves Team Workouts Underway for 20th Year at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney

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© Disney


Brian Snitker begins first full season as manager

Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers began their 2017 spring training workouts Wednesday, Feb. 15 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Full-squad workouts started Saturday, Feb. 18. Manager Brian Snitker begins his first full season as manager, after taking over in an interim role last season. Pitchers Bartolo Colón, R.A. Dickey, Kurt Suzuki, and 2B Brandon Phillips are among the newcomers on the roster this spring, while 1B Freddie Freeman, OF Ender Inciarte and P Julio Teheran headline the returning veterans. This will be the Braves’ 20th spring training season at Champion Stadium. The Braves’ first home game at Champion Stadium is Saturday, Feb. 25 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

October 11, 2016

NFL Pro Bowl Activities Coming to WDW

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Come January, the big question in Orlando will be “are you ready for some NFL football?” And the answer will be a crowd cheering ‘yes!’ The 2017 NFL Pro Bowl is coming to Orlando. And Walt Disney World Resort is excited to be part of the team hosting the Pro Bowl 5K Run, a celebratory parade featuring Pro Bowlers in Magic Kingdom Park and team practices at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. All leading up to the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at Camping World Stadium.


Score a Touchdown in the Pro Bowl 5K Run

The race will take place the last weekend in January. Put on your favorite football jersey, grab the family, and go for the end zone that’s just 5,468 yards away! It’s football fun for the entire family as you run through the spectacular Walt Disney World Resort. And there will be plenty of entertainment and memory-making moments along the way!


NFL Action at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The official practice site of the Pro Bowl will be the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Everyone is invited to come out and catch their favorite Pro Bowl players in practices on the field. Pro Bowlers will also be able to honor their former high school football or Pop Warner coach by inviting them to the game. Each member of the winning Pro Bowl team will earn a grant from the NFL Foundation to aid in the development of programs at their former high schools.


Pro Bowl Parade and Football Festivities

It will be a magic-filled afternoon as everyone’s favorite Pro Bowlers join Mickey and his pals in a celebratory parade down Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park. Then, join the fun at Disney Springs, Disney’s newest entertainment, shopping and dining destination, for even more Pro Bowl excitement.

Mark your calendar now and get ready for some football, festivities, and plenty of family fun during the week-long celebration! Registration for the Pro Bowl 5K Run and tickets for the Pro Bowl will be available beginning October 25. Check out ProBowl.com for more information.

July 26, 2016

New Venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

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In February, Walt Disney World Resort announced plans to build a new sports venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Today, Disney released a look at the new venue, which will be adjacent to the Jostens Center.

The venue will feature a flexible design that can be used as one large competition space capable of seating more than 8,000 fans, or it can be configured into as many as four separate competition areas. It also can be configured to host a variety of other sports, such as basketball and volleyball, as well as concerts.

Upon its completion, which is expected within the next 18 months, it will be the only venue of its size in America specifically designed with cheerleading and dance competitions in mind, offering special warm-up and practice areas, as well as spaces for judges and officials. Disney's sports complex already hosts nine cheerleading and dance competitions, including six elite Varsity-produced events such as the USASF Cheerleading and Dance Worlds held each spring.

February 9, 2016

ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort Announces Mega Cheerleading, Dance Team Venue

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2016) — With its sports business continuing to grow, specifically in the cheerleading and dance team space, ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort is preparing to break ground on a new state-of-the-art cheerleading and dance team competition venue.

ESPN Wide World of Sports is planning to team up with the nation’s top cheerleading organization, Varsity Spirit, to create the first venue in the world specifically designed for cheerleading and dance team competitions. The venue will include a flexible design for one large competition space that can be set up for as many as four competition areas. Additional areas are being tailored for warm up and practice, along with areas for judges and officials.

With the ability to seat over 8,000 guests, plus performance and warm-up space, the new multi-use sports and entertainment venue will also have the ability to host six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or concert configurations. There will be concessions throughout the building, and an additional box office and entry to the complex.

“As our sports business continues to grow, we’re thrilled to work alongside Varsity Spirit to create a sporting and entertainment venue that will not only complement our existing venues, but will be a model for cheerleading and dance team competitions,” said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of ESPN Wide World of Sports. “We value our young athletes and want to give these incredible guests an experience that can only be achieved at Disney.”

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Varsity Spirit will continue to host the world’s most prestigious cheerleading events at the complex, including Varsity Spirit’s annual National High School Cheerleading Championships. This event draws more than 650 teams from more than 30 states and is the only National Championship endorsed by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Winning a coveted white satin National Champion jacket is seen as the pinnacle of success for thousands of cheerleaders from across the country.

“Varsity Spirit invented the modern day cheerleading and dance competition, and we are proud to be the force behind this project, which represents our commitment to providing the very best and safest environment in the world for our athletes and coaches,” said Jeff Webb, Founder and Chairman of Varsity Brands. “Since this building has been designed specifically for spirit teams, we can’t wait to provide an even more high quality competition experience to thousands of athletes each year.”

According to Varsity Spirit, cheerleading continues to rise in popularity around the nation, as well as around the world. The competitive side of cheerleading focuses on

athleticism and entertainment, in addition to the traditional crowd-leading role of the cheerleader. Cheerleaders are the most visible representation of a school’s spirit, whether at a pep rally or on the field and that spirit can play an important role in a school’s success. According to research by Varsity Brands, students with higher levels of school spirit perform better academically, are more civically engaged, and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts six cheer and dance team events annually through its collaboration with Varsity Spirit, bringing tens of thousands of athletes and spectators to Walt Disney World Resort. With an aggressive growth strategy that will include more competitions and record-setting participation, this new venue will draw athletes, spectators and fans from around the country and provide an even stronger, positive economic impact on Central Florida. While the venue will primarily host cheer and dance competitions and volleyball and basketball games, the venue will also be incorporated into the numerous new sports and entertainment offerings at the complex.

Construction is slated to begin in February 2016, and is expected to be complete by mid- 2017.

April 22, 2014

Italian Serie A Club AS Roma Announces Return to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney

Friendly Match against Orlando City SC scheduled for May 23 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports


Italian Serie A club AS Roma
announced that it will return to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., this May. In March 2012, Roma entered into a multi-year agreement with Disney Sports to become the official professional football club of the renowned amateur and pro sports complex.

After playing its 2012 and 2013 summer matches in the U.S., Roma is returning stateside for the third consecutive summer. Roma will train at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney from May 22 to May 25 and play a friendly match against Orlando City Soccer Club of the United Soccer League on May 23 at 7:30pm local time.

Roma's presence at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex coincides with the annual Disney Memorial Day Shootout, which takes place May 23-26 and is the largest three-day soccer tournament in the U.S. In 2013, the shootout attracted more than 600 teams and consisted of more than 1,000 matches and 7,200 participants. The Memorial Day Shootout is one of 15 soccer events held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which features soccer events for youths of all ages and skill levels, in addition to professional soccer events.

"Our partnership with Disney is an important part of our efforts to connect with young fans worldwide," said AS Roma CEO Italo Zanzi. "We look forward to hosting fans, particularly the Disney Memorial Day Shootout players, at our training and for an exciting match versus Orlando City."

"It's always a thrill for the youth athletes and coaches competing and training at our sports complex when AS Roma is here," said Disney Sports' director of sports development Mike Millay. "Having world-class soccer teams, prestigious youth soccer events and creating unique soccer experiences are part of what makes our sports complex one of the premier youth soccer venues in the country."

Roma fans can purchase tickets via Ticketmaster starting today, Thursday, April 10, at 10 a.m. ET, and the general public will have an opportunity to secure their seats on Saturday, April 12, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Training session times for the Orlando City fixture will be announced at a later date.

Later this summer Roma will return to the U.S. for a rematch against Liverpool FC at Fenway Park (July 23) before playing in the loaded Guinness International Champions Cup against Manchester United (July 26 in Denver), Real Madrid (July 29 in Dallas) and F.C. Inter (August 2 in Philadelphia) and, if qualified, the final on August 4 in Miami's Sun Life Stadium. The 2014 U.S. summer tour speaks to Roma's growing international presence and follows two recent U.S. summer tours - 2012 in Boston, Chicago and New York City, and 2013 in Boston, Kansas City (vs. MLS All Stars), Toronto and Washington D.C.

November 13, 2012

Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies and Tigers Headline Braves Spring Training Schedule at Disney

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18-game schedule starts Feb. 22, earliest start at Disney; features four night games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2012) - A lineup of marquee baseball teams, including the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers, will visit Walt Disney World for Atlanta Braves Spring Training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Braves, who earned a National League Wild Card berth in 2012, report to the complex for two weeks of training in early February, before opening at Champion Stadium on Feb. 22 against Detroit. The late February date marks the earliest start for Braves at Disney since the team arrived in 1997.

A pair of visits by the Yankees, Feb. 23 and March 16 (night game), a March 12 contest versus the Cardinals, and a March 18 game against the Philadelphia Phillies highlight the schedule.

The Washington Nationals and Tigers, both reigning playoff clubs, make up the core of the Braves' 18-game home schedule at Champion Stadium. Each will play three games apiece at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Nationals visit Disney on Feb. 26, before a pair of night games, March 1 and March 21. The Tigers will also play under the lights March 7, along with day games Feb. 22 and March 3.

The 2013 slate also features the New York Mets twice, on March 15 and March 25, the Miami Marlins on February 25 and March 10, the Toronto Blue Jays on March 8 and Pittsburgh Pirates on March 20.

This year's schedule will also include select promotional themed games, along with the traditional Disney family-oriented fun, including in-game entertainment, Disney character appearances and on-field fan experiences. Kids will again have the opportunity to run the bases after every game.

Individual game tickets for the Braves' home spring training season go on sale Monday, Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster (800/745-3000 and ticketmaster.com) and at the sports complex box office.

Information on the Braves' spring training season, group tickets and mini-packs is available by calling 407/939-GAME (4263) and online at www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves. The popular mini-packs are now on sale, featuring four separate three-game options for 2013 and giving fans their first opportunity to purchase tickets to specific games on the Braves' 2013 spring training schedule.

Fans may also purchase Atlanta Braves Spring Training travel packages through Spring Training Tours. Travel packages include Braves game tickets, accommodations at Walt Disney World Resort and other benefits. Information is available online at www.Braves.com/springtravel.

2013 Atlanta Braves Spring Training Home Schedule

Date Opponent Time
Friday, Feb. 22 Detroit Tigers 1:05 PM
Saturday, Feb. 23 New York Yankees 1:05 PM
Monday, Feb. 25 Florida Marlins 1:05 PM
Tuesday, Feb. 26 Washington Nationals 1:05 PM
Friday, March 1 Washington Nationals 6:05 PM
Sunday, March 3 Detroit Tigers 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 7 Detroit Tigers 6:05 PM
Friday, March 8 Toronto Blue Jays 1:05 PM
Sunday, March 10 Miami Marlins 1:05 PM
Tuesday, March 12 St. Louis Cardinals 1:05 PM
Friday, March 15 New York Mets 1:05 PM
Saturday, March 16 New York Yankees 5:05 PM
Monday, March 18 Philadelphia Phillies 1:05 PM
Wednesday, March 20 Pittsburgh Pirates 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 21 Washington Nationals 6:05 PM
Saturday, March 23 Houston Astros 1:05 PM
Monday, March 25 New York Mets 1:05 PM
Thursday, March 28 Houston Astros 1:05 PM

All times are Eastern and are subject to change
All games to be played at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

March 20, 2012

AS Roma and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Create Italian Pro Soccer Presence for America’s Youth Athletes

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New multi-year agreement makes AS Roma the official professional football club of the renowned youth sports complex at the Walt Disney World Resort which becomes the team's official winter training home; Joint venture further cements the sports complex's stature as America's leading youth soccer venue and expands AS Roma brand into the U.S. soccer market

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 19, 2012) - Famed Italian football club AS Roma is teaming up with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to bring elite European professional football to youth athletes through a multi-faceted strategic agreement. The groundbreaking partnership also calls for Roma's first-team to train at the facility during its Serie A winter break, which is a first for an Italian League team.

As part of the six-year deal, the ESPN sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the leading multi-sports venue for amateur athletes in the United States, becomes the official winter training home of AS Roma, and the three-time Serie A champions become the sports complex's official professional football team. Additionally, AS Roma will have signage throughout the sports complex, serve as presenting sponsor of several Disney-owned youth soccer events there and have one of its youth academy teams compete in Disney's Soccer Showcase.

AS Roma's involvement with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex underscores the sports complex's stature as the nation's top youth soccer venue, which annually hosts pro soccer events as well as the country's most prestigious youth soccer tournament, Disney's Soccer Showcase. AS Roma joins the Atlanta Braves (Major League Baseball), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (National Football League) and the Orlando Magic (National Basketball Association) as professional sports franchises that have trained at the ESPN sports complex at Disney.

November 15, 2011

World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Yankees, Mets and Phillies Coming to Disney for Braves Spring Training

Cards, Yankees, Mets and Phillies part of marquee Braves schedule that features 18 home games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, including three under the lights; Disney post-game tradition of kids running the bases continues

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2011) - Some of Major League Baseball's marquee teams, including the reigning World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees, will take on the Atlanta Braves at Walt Disney World Resort during spring training in 2012.

The Cardinals and Yankees, as well as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, make up the core of the Braves' 18-game home schedule at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney. The Cardinals face the Braves on March 19. The Yankees visit twice, Saturday March 10 and Wednesday March 28, and the New York Mets come in three times, March 9 and 23 and the spring home finale April 2. And the Phillies face the Braves on April 1.

The Braves report to the complex for two weeks of training in mid-February, then begin play March 3 against the Detroit Tigers, who return to Disney for a Saturday matchup on March 31. The recently renamed Miami Marlins will sport their new uniforms at Disney on March 22.

The schedule features three night games under the lights at Champion Stadium - the Washington Nationals on March 14 and the Houston Astros March 16 and 30.

Each Braves spring training game has a unique Disney feel with family-oriented fun, including in-game entertainment, Disney character appearances and on-field fan experiences. And in what has become a Disney tradition, kids will again have the opportunity to run the bases after every game.

Individual game tickets for the Braves' home spring training season go on sale Jan. 7, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster (800/745-3000 and ticketmaster.com) and at the sports complex box office.

Information on the Braves' spring training season, group tickets and mini-packs is available by calling 407/939-GAME (4263) and online at www.espnwwos.com/atlantabraves. The popular mini-packs are now on sale, featuring four separate three-game options in 2012 and giving fans their first opportunity to purchase tickets to specific games on the Braves' 2012 spring training schedule. The newest package, the "Pick 'Em Plan," offers guests tickets to four games including one Yankees, Cardinals or Phillies game, and three other non premium games of the fans' choosing.

Fans may also purchase Atlanta Braves Spring Training travel packages through Spring Training USA. Travel packages include Braves game tickets, accommodations at Walt Disney World Resort and other benefits. Information is available online at springtrainingtours.com.

About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 250-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, which 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 HD and 3-D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.disneysportsnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.

The 2012 Atlanta Braves Spring Training home schedule follows.


2012 Atlanta Braves Spring Training Home Schedule

Saturday

March 3

Detroit Tigers

1:05 PM

Tuesday

March 6

Washington Nationals

1:05 PM

Friday

March 9

New York Mets-SS

1:05 PM

Saturday

March 10

New York Yankees

1:05 PM

Sunday

March 11

Toronto Blue Jays-SS

1:05 PM

Wednesday

March 14

Washington Nationals

6:05 PM

Friday

March 16

Houston Astros

6:05 PM

Saturday

March 17

Toronto Blue Jays-SS

1:05 PM

Sunday

March 18

Baltimore Orioles

1:05 PM

Monday

March 19

St Louis Cardinals

1:05 PM

Thursday

March 22

Miami Marlins

1:05 PM

Friday

March 23

New York Mets

1:05 PM

Sunday

March 25

Houston Astros

1:05 PM

Wednesday

March 28

New York Yankees

1:05 PM

Friday

March 30

Houston Astros

6:05 PM

Saturday

March 31

Detroit Tigers

1:05 PM

Sunday

April 1

Philadelphia Phillies

1:05 PM

Monday

April 2

New York Mets

12:00 PM

*SS - denotes split squad

All times are Eastern and are subject to change

All games to be played at Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

October 18, 2011

ESPN Wide World of Sports Named ‘Business of the Year’ at SPORTYS

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Central Florida Sports Commission recognized ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort as "Business of the Year" last month at the inaugural Central Florida SPORTYS Awards. The event honored deserving local athletes, coaches, employees and businesses, ranging from amateur to professional, throughout Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties.

SPORTYS award winners are selected by a blue ribbon panel of Central Florida media representatives through two rounds of voting. Other finalists for "Business of the Year" included Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Bright House Sports Network. Mike Millay, director of sports programs and events at Walt Disney World Resort, accepted the award for ESPN Wide World of Sports.

"It is an honor to be recognized amongst all of the great sports businesses in Central Florida," Mike said. "I accept this award on behalf of the 250-plus Cast Members that work hard to create magical sports moments for our athletes, as well as our key partners like the AAU, USSSA and Pop Warner who have made Central Florida the home to so many great events."

Three Central Florida Sports Hall of Fame inductees were also honored including: 13-year NBA player and current NBA coach Glenn "Doc" Rivers, long-time CEO of Florida Citrus Sports Chuck Rohe and five-time NFL Pro Bowler Ricky Watters.

August 4, 2011

Pop Warner Super Bowl adds National Exposure through Multi-year Extension with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

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Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President of Disney Sports Enterprises, and Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner Little Scholars, pose with Mickey Mouse and two Pop Warner athletes to celebrate a new 10-year contract renewal at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 4, 2011) - Youth athletes competing in the Pop Warner Super Bowl will gain additional national exposure as part of a 10-year contract renewal with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Under the contract extension, which runs through 2019, more than 40 hours of live game coverage and game action cut-ins will be shown on ESPN3.com. In addition, the Division I Midget national championship game will be aired on ESPN2 and other networks.

The expanded national coverage of the Pop Warner Super Bowl is the result of the ESPN rebranding of the 250-acre Disney sports complex, which included the addition of 40 high-definition video screens (three are jumbo screens), 56 high-definition cameras and a state-of-the-art HD and 3D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles, which, collectively, gives more national exposure for the more than 350 events staged annually at the complex.

"We are thrilled to create more exposure nationally for the youth athletes who work so hard every season to reach the Pop Warner Super Bowl at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex,' said Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President of Disney Sports Enterprises and Downtown Disney. "Expanding the opportunities to showcase America's youth athletes is just one of the many ways we are working with our key partners, such as Pop Warner, to help take youth sports to the next level.'


The Pop Warner Super Bowl is part of the Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. (PWLS), the nation's largest and oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization. The PWLS is a national non-profit organization that endorses and promotes teamwork, responsibility, leadership and scholastic achievement among young boys and girls ages 5 to 16.


"We've had a wonderful relationship with Disney for the past 14 years and we're looking forward to continuing to work with them to make our event even better," said Jon Butler, Executive Director, Pop Warner Little Scholars. "With the re-branding and impactful technical upgrades from ESPN, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex maintains its position as the best venue to host a youth sports event."


Many NFL players got their starts playing Pop Warner football, including Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars), Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos). The NFL Players Association estimates that roughly 70 percent of current NFL players have played Pop Warner football.

This year's 55th annual Pop Warner Super Bowl (Dec. 3-10), which includes the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships, will be held at Walt Disney World Resort for the 17th time, extending Disney's decades-long association with the event. Walt Disney himself attended the 1959 Pop Warner title game when it was held in Anaheim, Calif.

About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc

Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, Pa, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the world's largest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Currently there are over 400,000 children in Pop Warner organizations in 42 states, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Japan and Mexico. The NFLPA estimates that 70% of all current NFL Players got their start in Pop Warner programs. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit www.popwarner.com or follow Pop Warner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Pop_Warner.

About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 250-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras 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 HD and 3-D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.wdwnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.

June 15, 2011

International Soccer Star Kaká and NFL Players Converge at Disney Before Intl Cup Youth Soccer Event

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International soccer sensation Kaká played football and soccer Wednesday with several NFL players and Mickey Mouse at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, FL.

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Kaká, the Brazilian star of the Real Madrid team, played around with NFL players such as Bryant McFadden (Steelers, center in the photo above), Travis Johnson (Chargers) and Greg Jones (Jaguars), who train at the sports complex with renowned trainer Tom Shaw.

Kaká was at Disney in advance of next month's prestigious Disney Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament, which features nearly 200 teams from 16 countries.

April 5, 2011

Full Sail University, ESPN Wide World of Sports Ink Innovative Partnership

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Recognizing the expanding role of sports within the entertainment industry, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Full Sail University have finalized a unique partnership that enables the school to promote Full Sail's sports curriculum to a global audience of sports enthusiasts, while offering youth athletes more possibilities to envision their sports dreams.

As part of this collaboration, Full Sail will be represented throughout ESPN Wide World of Sports including the complex's Welcome Center, digital signs and promotional video packages. In addition, guests who are interested in learning more will be able to arrange a tour of Full Sail's Winter Park campus from the sport complex.

"The sports industry is evolving incredibly rapidly, and it requires professionals who understand the dynamics of the new media landscape for all applications in business, both now and in the future," said Josh Mora, program director of Sports Marketing and Media for Full Sail. "One area in which we can attract prospective students who will serve the industry is by focusing our efforts on those who have an inherent enthusiasm for sports. In that way, we can fuel their passion by exposing them to possible careers within the sports realm that they might not even know exists."

This agreement follows the university's recent launch of its new Sports Marketing and Media Bachelor of Science Degree Program. The 32-month curriculum, offered both on-campus and online, is designed to help students develop a balanced skill set of technical expertise and content creation. Students will also learn core business and marketing concepts as they apply to sports media, business models, sports marketing and research, public relations, sports law and contracts, and licensing and intellectual property.

"Sports dreams now come in all shapes and sizes," said Faron Kelley, director of marketing and communication for Disney Sports Enterprises. "We hope that by exposing young athletes to Full Sail's innovative curriculum, they will be able to realize their aspirations whether they're on the ball field, in the classroom or behind a TV camera."

Full Sail has recently collaborated with ESPN in launching a sportsbroadcast research lab at the university, complementing the current ESPN Innovation Lab located at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World. That lab has been critical in the development of ESPN 3D, Ball Track, NBA Player Card and Ultimate Uplink.

March 3, 2011

HP Field House Creates Hands-On Experience for America’s Youth Athletes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney

HP becomes official imaging, printing and PC partner for complex; HP technology implemented throughout the field house and beyond; initiative further enhances sports experience for youth athletes

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 3, 2011 - Walt Disney World and HP today unveiled the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during a ceremony that featured NFL star Jason Witten and soccer legend Mia Hamm, along with ESPN Radio's Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg and executives from HP and Disney. The project will deliver an even more immersive sports experience for the nearly two million athletes, coaches and spectators who visit Disney's sports facilities each year.

The 165,000-square-foot HP Field House, a multi-purpose facility that can accommodate virtually any indoor sport and has been the cornerstone of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex since it opened in 1997, has been outfitted with a variety of innovative HP enhancements, such as touch-screen kiosks and a one-of-a-kind retail imaging area. Additionally, HP technology is being infused throughout the 230-acre complex, enabling athletes, coaches and fans to have an unparalleled "hands-on" sports experience while providing ways to customize their visit with amenities previously unseen in youth sports.

The most prominent feature of the HP Field House is the HP Photo Creation Center, where players and fans can download, design and enhance commemorative photos and images from their events, then immediately produce and print them at an onsite retail location. Guests will also be able to purchase life-size posters of action photos from the complex, wallpaper coverings, multi-page calendars, photo CDs and many other unique photo keepsakes, giving athletes, coaches and fans even more ways to cherish their sports memories long after their competitions have concluded.

"Today's youth athletes are extremely tech savvy and HP is the perfect partner to help them better capture and savor the lasting memories of their unique sports experience in ways that no other sports venue can," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president, Disney Sports Enterprises.

Beyond the HP Field House, guests can tap into a wealth of HP technology. For instance:

HP TouchSmart Kiosks - Conveniently located in seven locations throughout the complex, the touch-screen stations, which feature new HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite Business PCs, will guide users to field assignments, schedule updates, display game day photos and video highlights, as well as provide general complex information, including maps, weather and dining options.

The TouchSmart kiosks also host a custom application that allows sports fans to create and share personalized avatars for their official ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex credential. The application can generate virtually unlimited uniquely tailored avatars with details ranging from sports preferences to jersey colors, skin tones and hair color.

The Welcome Center and ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill - The Welcome Center, the complex's on-site concierge service, provides guests with a number of one-of-a-kind services, from identifying field locations, to booking dining appointments, to transacting theme park and water park ticketing, to making hotel reservations. Additionally, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill now provides an Internet-café experience, with web access to relevant sites such as WaltDisneyWorld.com, ESPN.com, ESPNRISE.com and HP.com. The services are all enhanced via HP technology.

Working Laboratory - HP, Disney and ESPN will have the opportunity to collaborate on 3D, custom application development and new HP products such as the recently announced HP TouchPad for on-field stat collection and remote concierge services.

Utilizing the sports complex and its 300-plus annual sporting events as a real-life "working laboratory," the HP/Disney/ESPN team is focused on developing high-tech resources that improve both today's broadcast experience and the on-site experience for youth athletes, coaches and fans at the complex.

Overall, the integration of HP technology builds on the growing list of innovative features added to the complex in recent months, which has included the ESPN Innovation Lab and a high-tech Broadcast Center.

Additionally, high-definition cameras and multiple video boards and jumbo screens, a 20-zone audio system, and an in-room ESPN Wide World of Sports television channel that reaches 28,000 Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms, are all designed to take youth sports to the next level.

Disney Photo Imaging - Through a new initiative with Disney Photo Imaging (DPI), guests can utilize professional-grade photographers to capture on-field action and post-game celebrations which can be uploaded to the HP Photo Creation Center. Additionally, spectators can upload their own user-generated media on-site using memory cards, allowing them to customize, enhance and share photos from their sports events at the complex.

HP Disney History - HP's presence at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex extends the company's long-standing relationship with Disney, which began in 1940 when HP worked with Walt Disney to enhance the acoustics in movie theaters before the release of Disney's "Fantasia" movie.

Additionally, HP sponsors Mission: SPACE at Epcot and is one of the sponsors of the Disneyland Dream Home at Disneyland Resort in Southern California. Disney is a large HP customer and utilizes thousands of HP business PCs, servers, managed print services, in addition to technology services and storage

"The HP Field House continues HP's decades-long collaboration with Disney to captivate audiences through state-of-the-art athletic facilities with a rich, interactive technology experience that extends the spirit and passion of sports beyond the field of play," said Carlos Montalvo, vice president, Innovation Program Office, Personal Systems Group, HP. "Together with Disney, we look forward to delivering technology innovation to sports enthusiasts."

Future HP Features:
In the coming months, there are plans for the sports complex to make available handheld computers for on-field stat collection, hospitality services and interactive park experiences. Team officials and parents can utilize the handheld devices to upload scores, player statistics and other event information for broadcast on the video and jumbo screens. HP will also be installing a range of personal computers, printers and digital displays inside the suites at Champion Stadium, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves. HP digital signage will also be utilized to enhance the concession area throughout the venue.

October 20, 2010

Harlem Globetrotters Announce Two Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2010) - The Harlem Globetrotters announced today a two-game Harlem Globetrotters Holiday Special Event at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World prior to the tip-off of their 2011 North American tour.

The Globetrotters' doubleheader at Disney is Saturday, Nov. 27, two days after Thanksgiving Day, with an afternoon matinee at 2 p.m. followed by an evening game at 7 p.m.

The games mark the return of the Harlem Globetrotters to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex after a special performance this past February that was a part of the ESPN re-launch of the complex. That performance featured NFL player Chad Ochocinco, former LPGA player Annika Sorenstam, U.S. soccer player Brandi Chastain and Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN's Mike and Mike show in the Morning playing alongside Disney characters.

Over their 84-year history the Harlem Globetrotters have played more than 25,000 games and have featured NBA players and Hall of Famers including Wilt Chamberlin, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton and Marques Haynes on their roster. The Globetrotters are renowned for popularizing many of the game's best elements - like the fast break and slam dunk - and the Globetrotters are always exploring ways to bring new innovations to the game as they enter their 85th year of touring.

Tickets for the Harlem Globetrotters Holiday Special Event games go on sale today, one of which will air on ESPN2. Upper level tickets are $25, lower level tickets behind the baselines are available for $30, lower level tickets along the sidelines are $40, second row tickets in the lower level are $50 and courtside tickets are available for $75. Fans wishing to purchase tickets for the Disney games and other dates on the 2011 Globetrotters tour can be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets.

For more information, visit espnwwos.disney.go.com or www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

September 11, 2010

VEX Robotics World Championship to Be Held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on April 14-16, 2011

Coinciding with National Robotics Week - Three Days of Fierce Back-to-Back Robotics Challenges Unite Leading Young Innovators From Around the World

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dedicated to inspiring today's youth to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education through robotics, the non-profit Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, in conjunction with VEX Robotics, today announced that the 2011 VEX Robotics World Championship will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World® Resort near Orlando, Florida on April 14-16, 2011. Coinciding with National Robotics Week, the three-day tournament unites top middle school, high school and college robotics teams from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and further inspire students to pursue careers in robotics and other STEM related fields.

"Disney's state-of-the-art facilities will provide the ideal experience for VEX participants and fans, and we are delighted to host the VEX Robotics World Championship at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex," said Jason Morrella, president of the REC Foundation.

"Bringing the World Championship to such an esteemed venue as Disney provides a truly global arena for us to support and celebrate the accomplishments of today's young, diverse and enthusiastic minds," said Paul Copioli, president, VEX Robotics. "VEX Robotics Competitions bring the excitement of robotics to today's youth and give them a hands-on tool to apply what they learn in school about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and bring it to life."

The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics program globally with more than 2,500 teams from 20 countries playing in more than 200 tournaments worldwide. The VEX Robotics Design System is affordable, robust and offers an assortment of more than 200 of the most advanced educational robotics products available today. See www.vexrobotics.com for more information on the VEX Robotics Design System and the VEX Robotics Competition.

The 2011 VEX Robotics World Championship is the final event in the 2010-2011 VEX Competition season. Winning teams from local and state VEX Robotics Competitions will have the opportunity to meet in Florida and compete against other top-ranked teams from around the world, playing the game VEX Round Up. Giving students the opportunity to work with the VEX robotics systems promotes education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and teaches critical life skills such as teamwork, project management and problem solving.

July 30, 2010

Walt Disney World Resort Expands Relationship with HP Into Youth Sports at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 29, 2010) - Walt Disney World Resort today announced an expansion to its long-term business relationship with HP, which now includes naming rights for the 165,000-square-foot fieldhouse at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Beginning today, the fieldhouse will be renamed with the HP brand and will feature several new high-tech elements designed to enhance the sports experience for the nearly 1.5 million athletes, coaches and fans who visit the complex each year. HP also becomes the official imaging, printing and PC partner for ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the leading multi-sports venue in the nation.

The centerpiece of the soon to be renamed fieldhouse will be the HP Creation Zone where athletes, coaches and fans can download, design and enhance commemorative photos and images of their events, then immediately produce and print them onsite. The HP Creation Zone will also include a retail area featuring a variety of imaging-related products and options for youth athletes and consumers, such as creating life-size posters of action photos, custom wallpaper coverings for the home and other photo keepsakes/memorabilia.

"HP's innovative technologies further differentiate the athlete experience at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in ways that no other youth sports venue can match," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises. "The HP technological enhancements in the complex are just the latest in a growing number of technology-driven projects that are at the core of our growth strategy, which centers around continually elevating the sports experience for our athletes, coaches and fans."

There will also be an HP internet "café" capability inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Grill featuring HP TouchSmart PCs. Individual stations will offer online access to a variety of sites, including ESPN.com, ESPNRISE.com, ESPNWWOS.com, Disney.com, Disneyworld.com and others.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Welcome Center, an onsite concierge facility, will offer kiosks that also feature HP TouchSmart PCs. The kiosks, which will also be located at additional locations throughout the complex, will enable athletes and fans to access and print a wide range of sports event information, including field assignments and schedule updates, as well as general Disney information and resources, such as dining reservations and vacation planning tools for theme parks, resorts and water parks.

"The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex continues HP's decades-long collaboration with Disney to captivate audiences through technology innovation and digital entertainment," said Michael Mendenhall, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at HP. "The HP fieldhouse will deliver the ultimate sports environment, combining state-of-the-art athletic facilities with a rich, interactive technology experience to extend the spirit and passion of sports beyond the field of play."

The fieldhouse accommodates virtually any indoor sport, 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. Opened in 1997, the venue has a seating capacity of 5,500 and room for six full-size collegiate basketball courts.

HP's presence at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex extends the company's long-standing relationship with Disney, which began in 1940 when HP worked with Walt Disney to enhance the acoustics in movie theaters before the release of Disney's "Fantasia" movie. Currently, HP sponsors the MISSION: Space attraction at Epcot and is one of the sponsors of the Disneyland Dream Home at Disneyland Park. Disney is one of HP's largest customers and utilizes thousands of HP business PCs, servers and printers, in addition to technology services, business intelligence software and storage.

The expansion of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex's relationship with HP comes on the heels of the complex's most comprehensive redesign since it opened in 1997. In February 2010, the complex, which was already the leading multi-sport venue in the world, was re-imagined with the ESPN brand, bringing the signature elements of ESPN to the complex to create a one-of-a-kind sports experience that lets athletes, coaches and fans feel as if they've reached the big time with ESPN.

July 13, 2010

"I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!"

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Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade prepares to take a three-point shot as he is guarded by Mickey Mouse July 11, 2010 during a short 3-on-3 game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Wade joined the Disney character and members of two Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams that are currently competing in a national championship tournament for girls 16-and-under. The Disney World visit ended a week which saw Wade re-sign with the Miami Heat, where he will be joined next season by newly signed stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

July 9, 2010

Top Soccer Clubs from Around the Globe Compete in Disney Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament

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Nearly 200 teams bring international flavor to largest field in tournament history

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 8, 2010) - On the heels of the FIFA World Cup, nearly 200 elite youth soccer teams from around the world, including the Haitian National Women's Under 17 team, will compete in the Disney Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, July 12-17.

Clubs featuring boys and girls (ages 9-17) from countries such as Brazil, Great Britain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, the United States and others will be joining the Haitian team in creating the largest field in the tournament's 12-year history.

More than half of this year's field comes from outside of the continental United States with Puerto Rico leading the international team count with 18 registered clubs. Canada is next (16), followed by Brazil (11). In all, 18 countries are represented.

"This year's field is one of the most diverse and largest we've had in our tournament's history," said the event's tournament director Mark Luster. "The Disney Cup continues to be a great opportunity for teams from around the world to compete against other top young athletes while also getting to relax and enjoy a vacation at Disney."

Each team will play at least four games before advancing to a single-elimination tournament format. Championship games in various age divisions from under-9 through under-18 take place July 17.

Since 1999, the tournament has attracted teams from more than 20 countries giving participants a unique opportunity to compete on the same fields as teams from the English Premier League and Major League Soccer. For instance, Celtic Football Club, Blackburn Football Club, the MLS Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake have all competed or trained at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

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About ESPN Wide World of Sports

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in the ESPN Wide World of Sports category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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