ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Grand Opening Articles & Videos

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A lot of media coverage of the re-branding of the Wide World of Sports Complex. Here is the first article about the event from the Orlando Sentinel:

ESPN and Walt Disney World officially launched the re-branding of the Wide World of Sports complex on Thursday, kicking off the annual ESPN the Weekend festivities.

Signs, banners and a new welcome center greet guests now when they enter the ESPN Wide World of Sports, home to the Atlanta Braves and 300 events a year for youth, amateur and professional athletes ranging across 60 sports.

“Many people have asked us what was the big idea: ‘Why are you doing this?’ ” ESPN president George Bodenheimer said at a news conference announcing the re-branding. “When you [can] combine the brand names of Disney and ESPN, that’s just an opportunity too good to pass up. Today is the culmination of several years of work we’ve put into this beautiful facility.”

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Disney Park Blog is there also covering the event:

Marquee pro athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, LPGA and the Olympics turned out Thursday night for the official re-launch of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson, NFL star Chad Ochocinco, LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam, NFL star Maurice Jones-Drew, Olympic softball gold medalist Jennie Finch and 2009s Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes were just a few of the athletes in attendance along with several popular ESPN personalities and Florida governor Charlie Crist. Instead of a Hollywood-style red carpet, the celebrities walked a turf carpet painted with yard lines to resemble a football field. The sports complex, already the leading multi-sports venue in the nation, was officially re-launched when New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl champion kicker Garrett Hartley booted a football, held by Minnie Mouse, over the complex entrance gate amid waves of fireworks and confetti.

Afterwards, the celebrity athletes and ESPN talent attended a private reception at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill. Then some of them watched a special performance by the Harlem Globetrotters and even got into the act.

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Our First video is from Attraction Magazine..Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley booted a football over the re-designed ESPN Wide World of Sports complex entrance at Walt Disney World amid fireworks and a sea of confetti. Immediately afterwards, Mickey Mouse led a throng of youth and pro sports athletes representing the 60-plus sports held at the complex through a huge ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex banner draped over the entrance.

The second video is the “Green Carpet” event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. Here you can see famous athletes, actors, and even the Harlem Globe Trotters walk the “Green” carpet.


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