America’s Youth Athletes Gaining Larger Competition Stage Through ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Expansion

Leading amateur and pro sports venue at Walt Disney World Resort adding new fields and additional lights, digital video boards and audio systems; Changes offer more time and space for competition

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 29, 2011) — More than 300,000 youth athletes nationwide will now be able to compete and train on the country’s biggest amateur sports stage annually through the latest expansion plans scheduled for ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

The sports complex, already the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the country, is adding additional playing fields and installing more lights, digital video boards and audio systems, giving more athletes the opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind ESPN-style sports experience. The expansion plans, which are already underway, will involve 25 additional acres, bringing the sports complex’s footprint to more than 270 acres.

As part of the project, which is expected to be complete by early 2012, the sports complex is adding four multi-purpose playing fields on the north side of the complex for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. The new fields, which will increase the complex’s outdoor playing fields to more than 30, will be equipped with full lighting and scoreboards, plus digital video boards and audio systems. In addition, lighting will be added to five existing playing fields, increasing potential playing hours for many of the outdoor events that are among the 350 sports events that take place at the complex each year.

‘The demand and popularity of youth sports continues to grow even amid the current economy. We will continue to explore additional ways that we can provide more youth athletes with opportunities to be active and compete in a unique sports atmosphere.’
— Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises and Downtown Disney

The project is the latest in a series of expansions and enhancements to the complex, including the 2008 opening of the Jostens Center, a state-of-the-art field house featuring six full-size basketball courts, and the ESPN rebranding of the sports complex in 2010.

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