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For immediate release March 31, 2005

CENTRAL FLORIDA AND DISNEY'S WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS COMPLEX TO HOST 2005 ESPN GREAT OUTDOOR GAMES

ORLANDO, Fla. - Many of the world's most talented outdoors athletes will converge on Central Florida and Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex to compete in the ESPN Great Outdoor Games presented by Dodge. Officials from ESPN Outdoors and Disney Sports Attractions announced today that the Games will be staged July 7-10, 2005 and broadcast July 13-17, 2005 on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports.

"We're looking forward to our best Games ever," said Christine Godleski, Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Outdoors. "After successful events in Lake Placid, N.Y., Reno, Nev., and Madison, Wis., we've grown awareness in the Northeast, the West and the Midwest. Now we're bringing the event to the South and Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex."

Godleski summed up the Games and their new location with one sentence.

"It'll be great competition, compelling television, and we expect to draw large crowds," she said.

ESPN Outdoors considered a number of possible locations for the Great Outdoor Games and eventually selected Central Florida because it is a world-class travel destination that also offers a number of popular outdoor sports.

"We are thrilled to partner with ESPN Outdoors to host the Great Outdoor Games this summer at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex," said Reggie Williams, Vice President of the Disney Sports Attractions. "As a world-class sports and recreation destination, we strive to attract new and exciting events, and the Great Outdoor Games - with everything from timber events to sporting dog competitions - will provide some of the most entertaining competitions we have ever hosted."

With the exception of the rifle and shotgun target-sport events, all of the Great Outdoor Games events will be held at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Rifle and shotgun events will be held at the Tenoroc Range in Lakeland, Fla.

"The Tenoroc Range will provide a terrific backdrop for our target sports," added Godleski. "It's rustic looking and just a short drive away from Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex."

The ESPN Great Outdoor Games is the ultimate championship for outdoor sports and in 2005 will introduce ATV skills competition to the list of disciplines showcased over the four-day event. Target sports, timber events and sporting dogs will return this summer, while fishing will not.

"We are very excited to be introducing ATV's to the Games at Disney's Wide World of Sports this summer," added Godleski.  "ESPN Outdoors will continue to feature an enormous amount of fishing throughout the year with BASS, Salt Water Sundays and a variety of other platforms."

ESPN Outdoors is proud to partner with Bright House Networks in bringing the Great Outdoor Games to Central Florida.

"Bright House Networks is excited to have ESPN's Great Outdoor Games being taped within driving distance of our two largest divisions: Central Florida (Orlando) and Tampa Bay," said Kena Lewis, Group Director, Public Affairs & Communications. "We know this program is very popular with our customers and we're pleased that many of them will have the opportunity to experience the Games live and in person."

Spread over 220 acres in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex plays host to more than 170 events each year for professional and amateur athletes in some 30 sports. The state-of-the-art facility includes nine venues and is home to more than 40 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Championships, Atlanta Braves Spring Training, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp, the Sports Experience interactive area and the All Star Cafe sports-themed restaurant.

Since its inception in 2001, ESPN Outdoors has strived to inform and entertain anglers, hunters, campers and people of all ages who enjoy the outdoors.  ESPN Outdoors is committed to increasing awareness of outdoor activities, a direction best exemplified by daily television programming totaling nearly 1,000 hours annually on ESPN and ESPN2.

Each year, ESPN Outdoors stages more than 30 marquee events including the CITGO Bassmaster Classic and the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. ESPN Outdoors comprises BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing that sanctions more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation. ESPN Outdoors also features Bassmaster.com, ESPNOutdoors.com, a weekly outdoors show on ESPN Radio as well as a growing array of promotions and activities that deliver a clear message of conservation and ethical sportsmanship.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: January 24, 2006