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Osceola County Stadium

Osceola County Stadium is an outdoor sports venue located in Kissimmee, Florida, part of the wider Orlando City SC Training Complex at Osceola Heritage Park. Originally a baseball park,[1] it was converted into a soccer-specific stadium by Orlando City SC in 2019 to house the club's USL League One reserve team Orlando City B ahead of the 2020 season. It had previously served as the home field for the Class A Florida State League's Kissimmee Cobras (1995–2000), Osceola Astros (1985–1994) and Florida Fire Frogs (2017–2019).

Osceola County Stadium
Osceola County Stadium main.JPG
Location631 Heritage Park Way
Kissimmee, FL 34744
Coordinates28°17′54″N 81°21′50″W / 28.29833°N 81.36389°W / 28.29833; -81.36389
OwnerOsceola County
OperatorOrlando City SC
Capacity5,400
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Opened1984
Renovated2003, 2019
Tenants
Osceola Astros (FSL) 1985–1994
Kissimmee Cobras (FSL) 1995–2000
A-Sun Tournament 1998–1999
Gulf Coast League Astros (GCL) 2009–2016
Houston Astros (MLB) (spring training) 1985–2016
Florida Fire Frogs (FSL) 2017–2019
Orlando City B (USL1) 2020–present

RenovationsEdit

The Osceola County Stadium and Complex underwent a significant renovation in 2003 at a price of US$18.4 million[2] The renovation increased seating capacity, upgraded the press box, improved the clubhouses, and added "Autograph Alley" which is a popular feature of spring training events.

In May 2019, the Florida Fire Frogs accepted a half-million-dollar buyout from the county to leave at the end of the 2019 season. The stadium will be redeveloped to be part of a larger 20-acre training complex at Osceola Heritage Park for Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer to house its senior MLS team, USL League One reserve team and Development Academy. As well as the stadium, the training ground will also include four practice fields - three natural grass and one artificial turf - a fitness, training and recovery center; a players’ lounge; meal room and a film room as well as 30,000 square feet of office space for working staff and facilities to support media operations.[3][4]

Other usesEdit

The Houston Astros of Major League Baseball used the site for spring training between 1985–2016. The Astros' lease with the ballpark ended in 2017. The Astros and Washington Nationals moved into The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach in February 2017.[5]

The Osceola County Complex was also home of the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring where many hopeful future major league umpires went to learn the trade.[citation needed] Additionally, it hosts numerous amateur baseball events throughout the remainder of the year in conjunction with the United States Specialty Sports Association, Triple Crown Sports, World Baseball Federation, and Promotion Sports.[citation needed]

The venue hosted the 1998 and 1999 Atlantic Sun Conference Baseball Tournaments, won by Florida International and Jacksonville, respectively.[6]

In the mid-1990s Osceola County Stadium was planned to be the home of the yet-to-be named Central Florida team, a charter franchise of the United League (UL) which was a planned third league of Major League Baseball (MLB).[citation needed]

Osceola County Stadium hosted the Johnsonville American Cornhole League (ACL) Championships in 2018.[7]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cavender, Chris. "Welcome to the Osceola County Stadium!". OsceolaStadium.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  2. ^ "Houston Astros". SpringTrainingOnline.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  3. ^ Jackson, Ken (May 31, 2019). "Orlando City confirms it's bringing MLS, developmental training facility to Heritage Park; Fire Frogs sign deal to leave after this season". Osceola News-Gazette. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Reichard, Kevin (May 31, 2019). "Fire Frogs to Depart Osceola County Stadium at End of Season". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Castillo, Jorge (February 28, 2017). "Nationals christen their new spring home with a walk-off win". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  6. ^ "Atlantic Sun Recordbook - Baseball" (PDF). AtlanticSun.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 18, 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  7. ^ "American Cornhole League Comes to Kissimmee". Experience Kissimmee. January 25, 2018.

External linksEdit