To celebrate National Youth Sports Week, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosted a national media event at the sports facility, highlighting the ways Disney and ESPN collaborate to take youth sports to another level.
Media from around the country, Mexico and Brazil were given an inside look at how the sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort has maintained its status as the premier destination for youth sports in the nation. They also received a glimpse of new and upcoming events and initiatives taking place at the sports complex later this year and beyond.
During National Youth Sports Week, more than 30,000 athletes, coaches and fans passed through the sports complex’s gates to compete, coach and watch three major youth sports events – the Disney Cup International soccer tournament, International Champions Cup Futures U14 soccer tournament and the AAU National Basketball Championships.
The Disney Cup International Soccer Tournament (July 16-22) attracts nearly 3,000 athletes (boys and girls) from 20 countries around the world in one of the largest international youth soccer tournaments in the country. This year, the competition includes teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, Honduras, UK, Ecuador, Colombia and more.
The International Champions Cup Futures (July 16-22) is a new event featuring the top U14 players in the United States and Europe. The tournament features 24 teams – 16 from the United States and eight from Europe. There are eight teams from Major League Soccer (MLS) Development Academy teams, including the developmental squad from five-time MLS Champion Los Angeles Galaxy. Additionally, there are eight USA all-star teams and eight of Europe’s top club teams competing including developmental clubs from Borussia Dortmund, Celtic F.C., and Arsenal F.C.
The AAU National Basketball Championships (July 13-17) showcased more than 7,000 athletes competing on more than 650 teams. This week, the 8th grade girls’ championships took place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Thirty-five states and eight countries were represented throughout the premier youth basketball event, where the athletes play in front of hundreds of collegiate coaches and scouts in attendance.