Ripken Baseball Brings Youth Events To ESPN's Wide World Of Sports
Ripken Baseball and ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex announced a partnership that will bring elite youth baseball tournaments to Walt Disney World Resort beginning in '20. The Ripken Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will include a "dazzling" opening ceremony for participants, whose ages will range from 6-18. Games will be played on 11 ballfields, six youth-sized fields equipped with lights for night games and five professional-sized fields, including The Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosted MLB Spring Training games for more than two decades. Players will have free time in the Disney parks to experience new attractions. "When I first came to Disney, I kept thinking this is the greatest place ever and that they should have sports here and then they did," Cal Ripken Jr. told THE DAILY. "Here at Disney, we might even have greater resources to bring the big-league experience to the kids. I wanted, first and foremost, for the kids to have a memorable experience in a week." Ripken, the founder and chairman of Ripken Baseball, said the partnership is a multiyear deal. Terms were not disclosed. "Billy (Ripken) and I realized we were the lucky ones who got to play big-league baseball, and we wanted to help kids fulfill their dreams," Ripken said. "We quickly realized that most of the kids are not going to play big-league baseball, so we want to bring a big-league experience down to them."