Osceola County Sports
Osceola County’s reputation as a national and international sports destination is spreading: It’s no longer just about families visiting the major theme parks. Osceola also has developed an impressive focus on sports, including youth sports, as part of a drive to become the ultimate sports destination. The county is home to many prestigious championship golf courses, including Ginn Reunion Resort (home of the LPGA Tour’s Ginn Open), ChampionsGate, Mystic Dunes, Celebration Golf Club and Falcon’s Fire Golf Club. Additionally, Osceola County’s 96,708 acres of public access lakes and over 130 acres of park facilities speak to every kind of sports traveler, with special emphasis on soccer, baseball, softball and fishing enthusiasts.
Naturally, tourism remains the lifeblood of Osceola County, which has more than 42,000 hotel rooms and other lodging units. While theme parks remain the main draw for visitors, other attractions add a distinctive local appeal. Old Town and Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, to cite just two, deliver different and varied experiences that complement the big theme parks.
Osceola County Sports Facilities
Osceola County Heritage Park features an 8,300-seat enclosed arena with 12 luxury suites, an exhibition hall with 49,500 square feet of clear span exhibit space, the 36,000 square foot Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show & Fair Pavilion, and a 38,600 square foot multipurpose open air assembly area.
The complex has hosted a wide variety of events, including USA Wrestling championships, AAU Volleyball tournaments, national cheerleading events, dominoes championships, USA Gymnastics, Sesame Street Live, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. Visit the Osceola Heritage Park Website for more detailed information, including capabilities and specifications.
An $18 million renovation during the past two years ensures that this complex remains one of Florida’s premier spring training facilities. Suitable for a wide variety of special events and activities, the stadium has 5,400 seats and complete clubhouse facilities, concession space (including a new party deck), electronic scoreboard, media boxes, radio booths, public address system and high-quality lighting. Four satellite fields complement the stadium.
Osceola County Softball Complex features five immaculately groomed and landscaped fields in a cloverleaf satellite configuration. A self-contained, full-service facility, the complex has electronic scoreboards, public address system, bleachers, high-quality lighting, modern batting cages and a three-story clubhouse that provides coaches, players and officials with comfortable locker facilities. A glass-enclosed loft protects media representatives and the official scorers. The facility served as official training site for the 2000 U.S. Women’s Olympic Softball team.
Austin Tindall Regional Park is a modern complex designed to FIFA competition standards, with five practice fields and four regulation fields, three of which are lighted. Austin-Tindall’s clubhouse features a video suite where teams can analyze game and practice film, expansive locker rooms, separate facilities for officials and a covered concession area with seating. This site has hosted Major League Soccer, Olympic Soccer training, World Cup training, USA Rugby, NCAA national championships, NCCAA Championships, United States Flag and Touch Football Championships, and more.
Lake Tohopekaliga has become a favorite tournament site and home for many professional anglers. This beautiful 22,700-acre lake recently underwent an extreme drawdown and muck removal project. Approximately 46 percent of the vegetated zone was exposed for two months to consolidate bottom sediments, stimulate growth of native aquatic plants and increase production of sport fish. The following year, fish population samples indicated about 1,200 bass per acre. Fall creel surveys showed angler catch rates of 0.30 to 0.41 bass per hour (most of the fish caught during these surveys are released). Lake Tohopekaliga has hosted several national fishing events, including the 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, 2005 Bass Open, 2005 Bass Pro Tour and Federation, 2006 ESPN Bassmaster Classic, and the annual Great Outdoor Days.