Disney's Wide World of Sports
Complex is a 220 acre (89 ha) athletic complex located in the Walt Disney
The complex includes 9 venues and hosts
numerous amateur and professional sporting events throughout the
Disney built the US$100 million facility on former wetlands that it
owned near Interstate 4
. The venue
opened on March 1997 with an exhibition baseball game between the
and the Cincinnati Reds
A 9,500 seat baseball stadium
in 1997. One of the original components of Wide World of Sports, it
was formerly known as Cracker Jack Stadium
Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports
. It is the spring training
home of the Atlanta Braves
and the recurring home for the
Gulf Coast Braves
. The stadium has
hosted two regular season Major
series in 2007 and 2008 featuring the Tampa Bay Rays
as the home team.
A 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena
the National Dairy Association. It host the Old Spice Classic
annually. The Milk House
has 70,000 square feet with Stadium style seating with the highest
row 35 feet off of the floor. It also features a smaller gymnasium
behind the main arena with retractable seating.
First announced in March 2007, the complex's 10th anniversary year,
the Jostens Center
is a arena (36%
smaller than the Milkhouse without the stadium seating) that opened
in the fall of 2008. Sponsored by the class-ring
, the center will feature six college-size
basketball courts, twelve volleyball courts and two roller hockey
rinks. Its seating capacity
to be determined. The Milk House will remain in operation after the
Jostens Center's completion. 
Hess Sports Fields
Corporation, these eight
multi-purpose fields can host a number of different sports.
Two fields are equipped for night play, and four are made to
dimensions. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
camp at the facility from 2002-2008.
Consisting of four professional
fields and one practice infield
, the quadrapelex also includes batting
tunnels, pitching mounds, hitting tunnels, masters pitching
machines, and ten bullpens
. Two fields are
equipped for night play.
The first venue to be completed at the facility, it consists of six
fields used for softball
and youth baseball
. Organized with four fields in circle and
Centre Court Stadium
A 1,000 to 8,500 seat ten-court tennis
Cross Country Course
Consists of multi-purpose fields, the Track and Field Complex, and
a wooded trail.
Track and Field Complex
A 500-seat competition facility for track and field
events, designed to International
Association of Athletics Federations
Disney announced plans to construct a 160,000 square foot 100-lane
stadium, which would be the largest
in the country. It will offer stadium-style seating, a restaurant
and would be completed in early 2010. The stadium would be used for
events or open to guests. It would also be used as a venue to host
the United States Bowling
tournaments, which would boost the economy by bringing
guests and visitors to local hotels and restaurants.
On May 13, 2008 The Walt Disney Company announced plans to rebrand
Disney's Wide World of Sports using the ESPN brand.
On November 5, 2009, Disney announced that the complex would be
renamed "ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex". It will open in the
Spring of 2010. The complex is currently in the middle of a massive
upgrade including the installation of HD video scoreboards
at several of the venues, a new
complex-wide audio system and an HD broadcast production
The ESPN Innovation Lab, a facility dedicated to advancing sports
television technology, opened on October 15, 2009, as part of the
rebranding and renovation process.
A former baseball umpire and an architect alleged that they
approached the Walt Disney Company in 1987 with plans for a sports
complex, and that Wide World of Sports, which opened 10 years
later, was heavily based on their designs. Disney claimed that,
while the designs had some similarities, the complex was also
similar to numerous other sporting facilities, and the concept of a
sports park was too generic for any one group to claim ownership.
men, represented in part by noted attorney Johnnie Cochran, sued Disney in Orange
County civil court.
August 2000, a jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs with
damages in the amount of $240 million, a fraction of the $1.5
billion sought. Disney appealed the judgment, and settled out of
court in September 2002 for undisclosed terms.
- Disney Sports Complex to Become ESPN-Branded
Immersive Sports Venue