ESPN Wide World of Sports posing with Mickey and Minnie

Disney Sports Attractions Help Make Orlando the 2024 Best Sports Business City

The City Beautiful has a new honor: Orlando, Fla. is Sports Business Journal’s (SBJ) 2024 Best Sports Business City for Attracting and Hosting Events! Central Florida leaders gathered at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate this collective achievement.

“Orlando’s elevation to the top spot in this year’s rankings is a testament to the vibrant synergy between world-class venues, dedicated sports commissions and the enthusiastic community that makes Orlando a standout destination for sports business,” said Abe Madkour, publisher and executive editor at SBJ.

ESPN Wide World of Sports marks 27 years of sports at Walt Disney World

Part of this recognition is thanks to the more than 35 sports event venues that call Greater Orlando home, including the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

Celebrating 27 years this month, ESPN Wide World of Sports has hosted more than 70 different sports in its 10 world-class venues, plus events on an international stage including the 2016 Invictus Games , LaLiga Promises and the unprecedented 2020 NBA season. For thousands of youth athletes, the complex is known as the premier site for youth and amateur sports in the nation, giving them the experience of a lifetime to play in professional facilities with guest service that only Disney could provide. With Disney-led soccer events alone, more than 16,000 youth athletes will play at ESPN Wide World of Sports this season across six different events.

Disney also welcomes more than 117,000 runners to the Central Florida area each runDisney race season with a variety of 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons and the Walt Disney World Marathon each year.

Supporting our community and hometown teams

speaker at ESPN Wide World of Sports

“Sports are all about building communities whether you’re an athlete, coach or a fan, and Disney is honored to be a part of Orlando’s sports family along with our incredible hometown sports teams and community partners,” said Adam Ball, Vice President of ESPN Wide World of Sports, Water Parks & Mini-Golf.

In addition to hosting sports events, Disney has a long history of supporting the Orlando sports community as the official jersey sponsor of the Orlando Magic and a founding sponsor of Orlando City Soccer Club.

Looking ahead, Walt Disney World will welcome teams of wounded, ill and injured active duty and veteran military service members competing in adaptive sports competition with the Department of Defense Warrior Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from June 21-30. This event, which Walt Disney World Resort also hosted in 2022, supports the recovery journey and honors the dedication of military service members and their family members.

“Thanks to the power of partnerships, we’ve worked to make Orlando the nation’s premier sports event destination. We recognize that sports have the power to bring residents together, provide memorable experiences, showcase our city’s hospitality and vibrancy and drive economic growth by helping welcome more visitors to our region,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This recognition from the Sports Business Journal highlights the important role that sports plays in our community and is something that all of Orlando can be proud of.”