There are many things that Kissimmee could call itself. Next door neighbor to Walt Disney World. Spring training home of the Houston Astros. Gateway to Central Florida. The ideal place for sports travel planners.
With a long list of sports facilities and almost-perfect weather, Kissimmee does indeed have much to offer sports travel and event planners. Not only does this city support sports, it packs a punch when it comes to attractions of all kinds. Add in an experienced tourism team and every-ready local assistance, and Kissimmee may well be the next place you host your tournament.
And like Orlando, its neighbor to the north, Kissimmee is easy to travel to, easy to stay at, and – especially in winter – hard to leave.
At just 20 miles south of Orlando, Kissimmee offers easy access to everything from bass fishing to ESPN’s World of Sports. Here are the top sports facilities in the area:
ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort
This nine-venue monster of a facility hosts 350 events each year. Its Championship Stadium is the spring training base of the Atlanta Braves. It also offers two multiple-use arenas, seven fields, 10 tennis courts, a track and field complex, and a cross country course.
Osceola County Stadium
The Houston Astros’ spring training stomping grounds is also the home of the USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association). The complex features a 5,300-seat main stadium, five satellite fields, two half fields, a newly-redone practice field and an official Major League Baseball clubhouse. All of the playing fields are lit and have covered dugouts.
Osceola County Softball Complex
This is the official East Coast training center of the Olympic gold-winning US women’s softball team. It features five lit and fence-ready fields, each with two dugouts, bleacher seating for 500 fans and electronic scoreboards. There’s also a three-story clubhouse, and the facility is within miles of Orlando International Airport.
Austin-Tindall Regional Park
Ideal for football, rugby, soccer and lacrosse, the park has eight fields and three practice fields. Bleacher seating accommodates up to 1,500 fans.
Osceola Heritage Park
This popular sports complex is divided into three regularly-rented venues:
- Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show Pavilion is perfect for hosting equestrian and livestock-oriented events. There is permanent seating for 760, a 6,000-foot ring, and an assortment of pens and barns.
- The Exhibition Building is the ultimate in flexibility; its 47,000-square-foot floor space can be divided into two separate areas, as can its two 5,000-square-foot meeting rooms. It’s an ideal setting for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and other indoor sports.
- Silver Spurs Arena boasts 8,300 seats, and its generously-sized event space can be used to host everything from BMX biking to basketball. A 43-foot ceiling and a flexible curtaining system add even more adaptability.
- Kissimmee Civic Center
Located in the heart of the downtown business district, the Civic Center is a convenient place to host many indoor sports. Past events have included basketball, table tennis and volleyball. Seating is available for up to 3,000 spectators.
- Fortune Road Athletic Complex
Covering 40 acres, this facility regularly hosts USSSA Gold Cup games. It has four regulation-sized softball fields and one lit multipurpose field. There also are concessions and an observation tower.
- Kissimmee Chain of Lakes
Although this isn’t a facility in itself, the Chain of Lakes does host some serious fishing events, including the Bassmaster Classic and the FLW Tour. The eight lakes that make up the chain are especially prized for their bass and crappie.
Attractions and Accommodations
Thanks to Kissimmee’s proximity to Orlando and both of Florida’s coasts, you can do a whole lot more than just play sports. Famous theme attractions in Orlando include Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld and LEGOLAND. The Atlantic Coast’s Kennedy Space Center is an hour’s drive away. At Kissimmee’s Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, which comes complete with a castle and a replica medieval village, guests eat as knights joust and hurl things. Arabian Knights is another dinner attractions. For the adventurous, Zip Orlando offers a once-in-a-lifetime event: zipping high above Central Florida’s scenery on a cable-and-bridge course that extends nearly a mile. Kissimmee’s Old Town has fun restaurants, shopping and a weekly car show. In the Kissimmee-Orlando area, everything from posh resort hotels to campgrounds and RV parks is ready to host your group. For smaller groups who require more privacy and freedom than a hotel affords, vacation rentals are an attractive option.
Getting Here and Getting Around
Kissimmee is served by both Amtrak and can be reached by three major interstates: I-95, I-75 and I-4. Kissimmee is convenient to both of Florida’s coasts − the Atlantic Coast is about an hour away, the Gulf Coast a 90-minute drive. Kissimmee is 20 miles south of Orlando, 215 miles north of Miami, 70 miles east of Tampa and 165 miles south of Jacksonville. Orlando International Airport is 30 minutes away, Orlando Sanford International Airport 50 minutes away.
Contact the event-hosting experts at the Kissimmee CVB directly for assistance in planning your group sports trip. They can offer you help in almost every facet of your experience, including site selection assistance, media contacts, local PR and marketing, social media assistance, group dining and hotel booking assistance, event coordination (including welcome packages) and staffing assistance, including local volunteers.
It doesn’t matter if your group comes for the weather or the sports facilities – events hosted in this part of Central Florida can count on the best of both.