Champion Stadium is a baseball stadium located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort. The stadium was built in 1997. It is the home for the Rookie-league GCL Braves.
The 7,500-seat stadium was designed by David M. Schwarz in a style designer dubbed Florida Picturesque incorporating Venetian Gothic Revival, Mediterranean and Spanish influences with yellow-painted stucco, green-tile roofs, towers and arches.
|Location||Walt Disney World Resort|
700 S. Victory Way
Kissimmee, FL 34747
|Owner||Walt Disney Parks and Resorts|
|Operator||ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex|
|Field size||Left field – 335 ft / 102 m |
Left Center – 385 ft / 117 m
Center Field – 400 ft / 122 m
Right Center – 385 ft / 117 m
Right field – 335 ft / 102 m
|Broke ground||July 1995|
|Opened||March 28, 1997|
|Architect||David M. Schwarz|
Champion Stadium was originally known as The Ballpark then Cracker Jack Stadium. When it was first built, Frito-Lay purchased the naming rights to the venue for ten years and put its Cracker Jack brand on the stadium. Frito-Lay chose not to renew its naming rights deal. During most of 2007, it was referred to as The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports. On November 1 of that year, HanesBrands Inc. purchased the naming rights for ten years and put its Champion brand on the stadium.
Originally, Disney planned for no MLB permanent spring training tenant for the stadium, instead using as a Grapefruit League neutral site with rotating teams. However, the Braves organization became interested and moved in.
The Ballpark opened with the rest of Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex on March 28, 1997 with an exhibition baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds. The Gulf Coast League Braves began play at the stadium in 1997, while the Atlanta Braves started its 20 year spring training lease in 1998.
In 2000, after years of poor attendance at Tinker Field, the Orlando Rays moved to the Ballpark. However, the Rays, continued to draw barely 1,000 fans a game in their new stadium. Things improved somewhat over the next three seasons; the Rays drew 150,051 fans in 2003, more than twice what they had seen just a few years earlier at Tinker Field, but still last in the league. Following the 2003 season, the Rays moved (breaking a 10-year lease at Disney after just four years) and became the Montgomery Biscuits.
The old style manual score board was replaced in 2003 with a larger electronic scoreboard and message center. Champion Stadium was used during first-round games for the 2006 World Baseball Classic. It hosted Pool D, and featured teams with professional players from Venezuela, Australia, Dominican Republic and Italy.
The stadium hosted its first regular season MLB games from May 15–17, 2007 season when the Texas Rangers played the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a three-game series. The three games drew a total of 26,917 fans, and attendance went up each game. In April 2008, the Rays moved another series, this time against the Toronto Blue Jays, to Orlando.
| Invictus Games
Opening Ceremonies Venue
2016 Invictus Games
Air Canada Centre
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The following is a list of current and former Major League Baseball spring training cities.List of soccer clubs in the United States
This is a list of soccer clubs in the United States. For clarity, teams based outside the United States that play in USSF-recognized leagues are also listed below, with their home country noted.Montgomery Biscuits
The Montgomery Biscuits are a Minor League Baseball team based in Montgomery, Alabama. The team is the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and plays in the Southern League. The team was founded in Orlando, Florida, in 1973 as the Orlando Twins, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. After remaining in the Minnesota minor league organization for 20 seasons, the team became an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs for four seasons and then the Seattle Mariners for one. In 1999, the team became an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, and they have remained in the organization ever since.
Over the years, the club changed names several times. They were the Orlando Twins for 17 seasons, then were known as the SunRays, Cubs, and Rays. The club became known as the Biscuits when it moved from the Orlando area to Montgomery in 2004.
The club played at Tinker Field near downtown Orlando from 1973 until 2000, when they moved to Champion Stadium in nearby Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Since moving to Montgomery in 2004, the Biscuits have played at Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium, a 7,000-seat facility which was built for the club in the downtown area.Orlando Rays
Several different minor league baseball teams have called the city of Orlando, Florida home from 1919–2003. Most have played in the Florida State League.
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The Orlando Gulls began in 1937 but changed their name the following year to the Orlando Senators when they became an affiliate of the Washington Senators. The Senators remained through 1955 (though the team name and league was shut down from 1943–1945 during World War II and the name was changed to the Orlando C.B.s for 1954–1955). They won the FSL championship in 1940, 1946 and 1955
In 1956, they were an affiliate of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico of the Mexican League and were known as the Orlando Seratomas. As an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers they were the Orlando Flyers in 1957, a name that remained in 1958 when they were affiliated with the International League team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. They were a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate known as the Orlando Dodgers from 1959–1961 when this version of the team was discontinued.
The Minnesota Twins arrived in 1963 and set up a new affiliate called the Orlando Twins. The franchise joined the Southern League in 1973. The Twins played at Tinker Field in downtown Orlando, near the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. In 1990, the team was renamed the Orlando Sun Rays. In 1993, the Chicago Cubs became the team's new major-league affiliate, and the team was renamed the Orlando Cubs. While still a Chicago Cubs affiliate, the team renamed itself once again in 1997 and became the Orlando Rays. The following year, for one season only, the Seattle Mariners were the Rays' major-league affiliate. The Tampa Bay Rays (then the Devil Rays), an American League expansion team in 1998, assumed the Orlando Rays' major-league affiliation the following year.
The Orlando Rays' last season at Tinker Field was 1999. From 2000 to 2003, the Orlando Rays played in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in Champion Stadium at Walt Disney World Resort. Despite the fact that the team played in a state-of-the-art stadium that was built in 1997 and used during spring training by the Atlanta Braves, attendance did not meet expectations; after trailing the Southern League in attendance in multiple years, the Rays' owners announced the team would move to Montgomery, Alabama in 2004 (terminating their 10-year lease with Disney after four seasons). Rays players who went on to the major-league level include Carl Crawford, Toby Hall, Jorge Cantú, Dewon Brazelton, Chad Gaudin, Matt Diaz, Jonny Gomes, and Seth McClung. The team is now known as the Montgomery Biscuits.
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|World's Championship Series|
|Division titles (18)|
|Wild card berths (2)|
|Parks West Region|
|Parks East Region|
and former parks
Parent: The Walt Disney Company
Current ballparks in the Gulf Coast League
2006 World Baseball Classic Stadiums