SPRING TRAINING COMES TO CENTRAL FLORIDA
By: Angel Rodriguez
For the first time since 2018, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will host Spring
Training for a Major League Baseball team and bring MLB baseball to Central Florida for
people to see the Tampa Bay Rays.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex still had to host an MLB team for Spring
Training since 2018 when the Atlanta Braves played and practiced there. The Braves have used
the facilities since 1997, and the park was used for the Braves Minor League Baseball Affiliate.
The Tampa Bay Rays will move into the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the
2023 Spring Training season and will practice there and host a game before leaving to go back to
Tropicana Field to finish the Spring Training season. But their minor leaguers will stay there to
practice and play until the MiLB season starts.
In September 2022, Hurricane Ian hit Florida and destroyed several towns and cities in
the Southwest, including Port Charlotte, the Rays home for Spring Training since 2009, and The
Charlotte Sports Park.
Now that the Rays have decided to do Spring Training in Kissimmee, people in Central
Florida will have a fun experience with the Rays and MLB. The Rays will start training camp
and practices at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on February the 15th.
This allows baseball fans of Central Florida to live the MLB experience again and for
those who don't know baseball to learn about the sport and the Rays. During Spring training, fans
have the best chance to meet, have better experiences with MLB players, and see Baseball as
close as possible.
In these workouts and games, it is made more accessible for fans to get baseballs as
souvenirs, to be able to get things signed by players before and after games, purchase Rays gear
in the park, and see MLB players play and do their thing for at least one game.
This will be an excellent time for people around and in Central Florida to be able to go
and see some MLB baseball, Baseball stars, and MVPs and spend some fun time in Spring at the
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. And get to fall in love with baseball and the Tampa Bay
Rays, and this may stay like this for a few years until the Rays find a new Spring Training home.