Disney officially announces expansion to ESPN Wide World of Sports with 8000 seater venue aimed at cheerleading and dance events

Feb 05, 2016 in "ESPN Wide World of Sports"

Posted: Friday February 5, 2016 2:23pm EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today announced that it will be bringing a new 8000 seat venue to ESPN Wide World of Sports as part of an expansion to the complex.

Primarily aimed at cheerleading and dance teams, Disney is teaming up with Varsity Spirit, to create the first venue in the world specifically designed for cheerleading and dance team competitions.

Construction of the 286,000 sq. ft. venue is set to begin in February 2016, with completion by mid 2017. The project will also include new parking lots and entrances to the complex.

Along with seating for over 8000 guests, there will be performance and warm-up space, and the new multi-use sports and entertainment venue will also have the ability to host six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or concert configurations. There will be concessions throughout the building, and an additional box office and entry to the complex.

“As our sports business continues to grow, we’re thrilled to work alongside Varsity Spirit to create a sporting and entertainment venue that will not only complement our existing venues, but will be a model for cheerleading and dance team competitions,” said Maribeth Bisienere, senior vice president of ESPN Wide World of Sports. “We value our young athletes and want to give these incredible guests an experience that can only be achieved at Disney.”

“Varsity Spirit invented the modern day cheerleading and dance competition, and we are proud to be the force behind this project, which represents our commitment to providing the very best and safest environment in the world for our athletes and coaches,” said Jeff Webb, Founder and Chairman of Varsity Brands. “Since this building has been designed specifically for spirit teams, we can’t wait to provide an even more high quality competition experience to thousands of athletes each year.”

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts six cheer and dance team events annually, with tens of thousands participants. According to Varsity Spirit, cheerleading continues to rise in popularity around the world.

Disney will also be moving the Night of Joy event to ESPN Wide World of Sports from this year, underlining the use of the complex as a sport and entertainment venue.

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Next Big ThingApr 08, 2019

Here's the best picture I could find showing off the whole inside. It looks like it's a pretty intimate venue (holds 8K) when compared to larger arenas like Orlando's Amway Center, but it's still probably bigger than most places the cheerleaders that perform here are used to. Here's the WDWMagic article: http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/espn-wide-world-of-sports/news/18jan2018-the-arena-at-espn-wide-world-of-sports-complex-officially-open.htm

mm121Apr 07, 2019

Are there any photos anywhere showing the complete interior of this new venue?

Cesar R MJan 19, 2018


wdwmagicJan 19, 2018

Thanks for your valuable contribution to the thread.

Jon81ukJan 19, 2018

Quite a few uses of the arena are actually events that already happen in other places. Such as the Indiana Jones arena at DHS being used for cheer competitions. Or the marathon expos that already happen elsewhere. Also if someone is at WDW for a sports competition the majority of their time will be spent doing sports, visits to the parks is a secondary thing 🙂

disney4life2008Jan 19, 2018

Stop building dvc and sports complexes. We do not need anything else that will add more people here.

dan8302Jan 18, 2018

Get ready for the Indy theater to close now. I am convinced the only reason they didn't do something with it sooner is because of the cheer competitions. With a new home for those they can convert the space to something new.

Walt dJan 18, 2018

Could of gone with the kelly slater wave pool. And skate park. I would never leave, put the pool to lefts for me” barrel please!

dvitaliJan 18, 2018

Late news... seen these photos and story last week on Apple News app.

wdwmagicJan 18, 2018

Walt Disney World's new 8000 seat arena is now open at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/espn-wide-world-of-sports/news/18jan2018-the-arena-at-espn-wide-world-of-sports-complex-officially-open.htm

RteetzOct 31, 2017

No different than before. They had readers at the previous entrance.

danlb_2000Oct 31, 2017

I assume they are going to manage event ticketing through the bands.

Texas84Oct 31, 2017

MagicBand readers?

Cesar R MOct 30, 2017

The stadium entrances do not feel that big. Just how big is this stadium? Smaller than Houston's ?