When you think of Walt Disney World, you may think of Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, or even Disney Springs. However, you may not immediately think of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a vast multi-purpose sports complex located within Walt Disney World Resort. The complex is made up of over 200 acres, and it’s home to nine different venues. Not only that, but this sports complex also hosts many professional and amateur sporting events throughout the year.
However, when Walt Disney World Resort closed in 2020 during the initial lockdown stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, one particular event was lost: spring training.
Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosted spring training for the Atlanta Braves for nearly two decades, from 1998 to 2019. Not only that, but the complex also hosted the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic.
For the first time in a couple of years, Disney has announced that the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will once again host a Major League Baseball team for spring training in the new year: the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to a report by Channel 8 News, Disney’s sports complex will host “a portion of the team’s spring training” after the recent storm, Hurricane Ian, damaged the Tampa Bay Rays’ sports facilities in Port Charlotte, Florida.
The Vice President of Disney Sports, Faron Kelley, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing Major League Baseball back to Walt Disney World Resort […] We’re always looking for top-tier events, like the Rays’ Spring Training for our guests to enjoy at ESPN Wide World Sports Complex.”
Although Hurricane Ian raged its way through Florida, Disney is able to provide a happily ever after for this Major League Baseball team.