Some of the most popular names in baseball are coming to Walt Disney World for Atlanta Braves Spring Training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Braves training season lasts from Feb. 22 through Mar. 28, 2013. [Read more…]
Major League Gaming’s (MLG) Pro Circuit tournament opened its 2010 season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World this past weekend with an intense three day competition full of unexpected twists and upsets. Ultimately fourth-seeded Instinct prevailed over the rest of the 200 team field, taking home $20,000 and its first Halo 3 tournament win in the process. The team consists of recently added members, Kyle “ElamiteWarrior” Elam from Union, K.Y. and 18-year-old Scottie “Cloud” Holste of Elk Grove Village, Ill. who joined top twin competitors, Jason “Lunchbox” Brown and Justin “Roy” Brown of Urbana, Ill. [Read more…]
Top pros, aspiring amateurs, and fans are set to convene as the 2010 Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro Circuit debuts this weekend. The Orlando competition is the first of a five city U.S. Pro Circuit tour that will place the most talented players alongside their toughest opponents to culminate in a national championship event. The first event takes place April 16 to 18 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.
This year, the organizers are bringing fighting games back to the competitive fold with Tekken 6, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the popular Halo 3 FFA (free-for-all or individual) competition is also on deck for the 2010 season. The top FFA players from each event will be flown to the finals at the 2010 National Championships to compete for the $2,500 first prize.
Halo 3 is making its third season return to the Pro Circuit. Two-hundred and eight teams will compete in a three-day, double-elimination tournament. The Orlando competition will also feature home team favorites and league superstars Str8 Rippin, one of the best Halo teams in the world and one of the biggest success stories of the MLG Pro Circuit. Competing in the circuit will be leader Tsquared, one of Halo’s greatest and longest-standing players alongside teammates Snipedown, Heinz and Legit. Another strong contender on the Pro Circuit is Orlando-based, Sean ‘Legend’ Hinsinger. The 24-year-old led his former team, Classic, to second place at the 2008 Pro Circuit and is now heading up team Darkest Hour.
Eight winners from the 2010 MLG Doritos Pro-Gaming Nashville Combine will also compete at the Orlando event as part of their prize package. Included in the lineup is 17-year-old Ryan ‘a.reallygoodnoob’ Geddes from Zephyrhills, Fla. who wowed the MLG evaluators in Nashville and promises to be a home favorite at the Orlando competition.
Fans can purchase passes for the Orlando competition and interact with fan favorites during “Play-a-Pro” matches, and put their own skills to the test in exhibition matches. There will also be merchandise giveaways throughout the weekend. Full details about the event and the Pro Circuit are available at mlgpro.com/pro-circuit/2010. Passes can also be purchased onsite.
After the Miami Heat gained two megastar free-agents (LeBron James and Chris Bosh), guard Dwyane Wade celebrated with a vacation to Disney World where he stopped by ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to play a fun 3-on-3 game with Mickey Mouse and AAU girls basketball players from South Florida and Louisiana. [Read more…]
The sports facility formerly known as Disney’s Wide World of Sports was officially re-launched as ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex last Thursday, Feb. 25, in an elaborate Hollywood-style “turf carpet” event that featured celebrities, Florida’s governor, ESPN on-air commentators and sports stars from the NFL, MLB, LPGA, Olympics and more.
Shawn Johnson (Olympic gold medal gymnast), Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals), Jennie Finch (Olympic softball gold medalist), Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl MVP) and Annika Sorenstam (LPGA) were among the star athletes who joined popular ESPN on-air personalities on the green carpet with yard lines resembling a football field. Minnie Mouse helped New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley officially re-launch the 220-acre sports complex when he booted a football over the re-designed complex entrance amid fireworks and a sea of confetti. Immediately afterwards, Mickey Mouse led a throng of youth and pro athletes – representing the 60-plus sports held at the complex – through a huge ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex banner draped over the entrance.
Afterwards, the celebrities, athletes and ESPN personalities attended a special reception at the complex’s re-themed ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill, followed by a special performance by the Harlem Globetrotters that featured Hartley, Sorenstam, Maurice Jones-Drew, Brandi Chastain and ESPN radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, who served as honorary assistant coaches. The game, called by ESPN’s “SportsNation” co-hosts Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle, aired Friday on ESPN2.
“At ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, we are giving America’s youth athletes a one-of-a-kind youth sports experience that leaves them feeling as if they have reached the big time and made it onto ESPN,” said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises.
Disney and ESPN have added many technological and experiential enhancements designed to replicate the signature elements of ESPN throughout the complex, including 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio), 40 high-definition video screens at 17 locations (including three jumbo screens) and a 2,500-square-foot Production Center with links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. Also, there is a 20-zone audio system, a welcome center, a huge complex marquee and the Innovation Lab where the ESPN Emerging Technology group is testing and developing innovative new on-air applications.
In addition, Disney is looking to add some downtime activities for the young athletes who may have long breaks between games. The first of such is The Playstation Pavillion, which opened on Thursday as well. The Pavilion features 17 PlayStation3 systems, including a SingStar stage, and a collection of just-released game titles. Many additional expansion plans are in development, including a planned 100-lane bowling facility. No time frame has been given for the bowling center.
Another new addition to the complex is a Custom Tee Center by Champion. Athletes can take their event tee to the Custom Tee Center and choose from more than 50 designs that can be added to their shirt, such as “1st Place”, “Champions”, “Team Captain”, “Team Mom” and more. The designs come in a variety of sizes and range from $1.95 to $4.95 and the T-shirt will be complete in less than 15 minutes. In addition to the main location near the Grill, mobile centers will be set up around the complex.
Disney Sports annually stages more than 300 events and has accommodated approximately 60 different sports involving athletes from more than 70 countries. Among those events are Atlanta Braves spring training, Chelsea Football Club events, the Pop Warner Super Bowl, AAU National Championships, Varsity Cheer events, the World Cheerleading Championships, the ESPN RISE Games, USSSA events and the Walt Disney World Marathon. ESPN televises dozens of sporting events from the complex, and Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN also annually work together to host the popular ESPN The Weekend presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Keep scrolling for videos and photos from the grand opening ceremonies.