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Champion Stadium


Spring Training home of the Braves since 1998

Ballpark address:
700 South Victory Way
Lake Buena Vista, FL   34747

Opened: 1997
Capacity: 9,500

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Champion Stadium

Location
America's team plays in America's favorite playground, Walt Disney World, and Champion Stadium is a part of the famed resort's Wide World of Sports Complex, which since 2010 has officially been called the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The stadium resides in Lake Buena Vista, although its address is often listed as Kissimmee. Lake Buena Vista is a city controlled by The Walt Disney Company and whose only permanent residents are a handful of Disney employees, hence its official population of just 10 people in the 2010 census. The entire land area of the "city" is less than 5 square miles.

Directions

  • From I-4: Take the Osceola Parkway West exit (# 65) and turn left at the first stoplight onto Victory Way. Proceed to the stadium.
  • From the Florida Turnpike: Take the Osceola Parkway West exit (# 249), travel about 10 miles and turn left onto Victory Way. The stadium is ahead on the right.

    Parking
    A small paved lot behind the left field wall is for early arrivals and the handicapped. There's a large grass field behind the paved lot for everyone else. All general parking is free, making this the only Grapefruit League ballpark that doesn't charge for parking.
     Cost: Free


    Stadium Information
    With its distinctive Spanish Mission style design, Champion Stadium is one of the most picturesque ballparks to host spring training. It's the only completely double-decked spring venue in Florida and its spacious berm enables the ballpark to annually host some of the largest individual game crowds in the Grapefruit League. Champion Stadium looks like a miniature version of a Major League ballpark, and in fact has hosted a half-dozen Major League games (three each in 2007 and 2008), along with first-round games in the World Baseball Classic (in 2006). Spring training games are a full-fledged Disney production, complete with between innings entertainment that includes the 7th inning stretch "Sing A Long." There's even a postgame fireworks display, which occurs regardless of whether the Braves win or lose. Visitors can't help but notice Disney's signature customer service on display, as you're met with smiles everywhere you go by the stadium's "cast members" (employees) and "How can I help you?" is heard often. Refreshingly, advertising is less prominent here than at any other spring training ballpark. Prior to 2010, there were no ads on the outfield wall. Although a few banners are now draped over it, most sponsors are limited to promoting their brand on the pennant shaped flags behind the berm in left field. Once known as Cracker Jack Stadium, it was renamed in 2007 after Hanesbrands Inc. purchased the naming rights for ten years.

    Fast Facts

  • Fans enter the ballpark on its third base side, arriving via the walkway that extends to the parking lot.
  • Ticket windows are found in a building along the walkway. The ticket office is actually below the patio on the stadium's third base concourse.
  • The main concourse on the lower level is open to the playing field, although there is another concourse behind it that has concession stands. The upper deck's concourse is behind the grandstand.
  • The upper deck slightly overhangs the lower deck.
  • Fans can stand directly behind the visitors' bullpen that's cut into the berm, although you'll be shooed away from doing so during the game. The Braves' bullpen is elevated above the right field wall, viewable only from a distance.
  • The stadium has a pair of large scoreboards that flank opposite ends of the batter's eye that's in straight away center field. To the left is the traditional line scoreboard, which also displays the hitter's spring training batting average and the speed of each pitch. In 2010, a high-definition video board was added to the right of the green batter's backdrop.
  • There are lots of opportunities to bring home a souvenir, both inside and outside of the stadium. The main team shop is a large one behind home plate. An additional Braves shop is next to the ticket office, while tents set up on the walkway to and from the parking lot carry primarily shirts and hats.

    Practice Fields

  • The Braves' minor league complex is also a part of the Wide World of Sports Complex. Referred to as the Baseball Quadraplex, it's directly behind the main stadium.
  • Within the Baseball Quadraplex are four full-sized practice fields. They are simply labeled fields 2 through 5. Field 1 is at the back of the complex and is a half-field. It's also the only field that doesn't have covered seating for spectators.
  • Field 5 is not a part of the quad layout, as it's oriented away from the other three full fields, and is the one the big league Braves use some on game day for warming up, as Field 5 is a very short distance behind the right-center field wall of Champion Stadium. Because it's the closest practice field to the stadium, it's also the first one you'll arrive at when walking back to the Quadraplex.
  • To get to the Baseball Quadraplex, follow the sidewalk that's between Champion Stadium and the HP Field House. That sidewalk is parallel to the baseball stadium's first base line and at its end are steps and a ramp that lead to a paved then gravel path, the latter of which leads to the baseball practice fields.

    Types of Seating
    Champion Stadium seating diagram Fans have their choice between seats with chair backs and armrests, bleachers with contoured backs, or the lawn.

  • Stadium seats: The entire upper level and all seats in lower level sections 107-117.
  • Bleachers: Sections 101-106 down the right field line.
  • Berm: Begins near the visitor's dugout and extends all the way to left-center field.

    Notes about the seating

  • The Braves dugout is on the first base side. To make sure you're on the home side of the stadium, buy your tickets in sections 101-112 or 207-214.
  • The ballpark is split into two levels: the lower and upper level.
  • All stadium seats have cup holders.
  • In the lower level, handicap accessible seating is available on the concourse above sections 102-106, 109, 111-114, plus there are more spaces (albeit behind a fence) on the concourse for as far as it extends above the lawn down the left field line.
  • In the upper level, handicap accessible seating is available in front of the entrance portals for all even numbered sections (208, 210, 212, 214, 216, 218, 220).
  • The protective screen behind home plate extends from section 111 to the midpoint of section 115. The thin netting used doesn't obstruct views.
  • When not in use, the tarp is stationed in front of section 105 and seats 7-16 of section 104. Because it's sized right, the tarp is not noticeable to those sitting in either section's front row seats (row A) and folks sitting there even get to enjoy extra leg room. So seats directly behind the tarp are very fine almost at exactly field level seats.
  • Since 2013, the berm has been split into two differently priced areas: the 3rd Base Lawn and Pennant Berm. The Lawn actually mostly parallels the left field line, while the cheaper Berm area is the hill behind the left field fence. A barrier does exist between the otherwise continuous lawn/berm, but those buying Pennant Berm tickets will only find themselves restricted to that area on big crowd days.
  • Plenty of standing room is available on the concourse above the berm and along its crest. Fans can also stand on the patio behind the bleachers and on the concourse that rings the top of the lower level grandstand.
  • Fans are free to roam between the grandstand and lawn seating. Ushers are stationed at all sections but the only ones for which they will not allow non-ticket holders to enter are 107-117, although restrictiveness there wanes as the game progresses into the late innings.

    Sections and rows

  • Rows for sections with stadium seats in the lower level range as follows:
    A to U in section 107; D to U in section 108; D to T in section 109; A to U in section 110; A to T in section 111; A to U in sections 112-115; D to U in sections 116-117
  • Rows for sections with stadium seats in the upper level range as follows:
    A to V in section 207; A to W in section 208; A to M in sections 209-215; A to P in section 216; A to M in sections 217-218; A to W in section 219; A to V in section 220
  • Rows for sections with bleacher seats range as follows:
    L to U in section 101; E to T in section 102; A to U in section 103; A to T in sections 104-106
  • Rows I and O are skipped in all sections.
  • Rows A-C in section 110 have only one seat.

    Tickets

  • Sections 101-106 are sold as Bleacher Reserved.
  • Sections 107-117 are sold as Lower Reserved.
  • Sections 207-220 are sold as Upper Reserved.
  • Grass seating is split up into two General Admission areas: the embankment along the left field line is sold as Lawn; space on the hill in left field sells as Berm.
  • Children under the age of 3 get in to the game for free.
  • Ticket prices go up $5 on game day, so buy before the date of the game or you'll be accessed a "$5 walk-up fee" on each ticket purchased.

    Seats to avoid
    There are quite a few bad seats in the upper level. Rows S and above in section 208 have their views blocked by a camera platform. Ditto for seats 14-18 in rows T, U, V in section 220. A steel beam obstructs the views of fans sitting in rows S and above in section 207, the closer the seat number to 22 the greater the obstruction. Seats 1-3 in rows T, U, V of section 220 are also obstructed by a support beam.

    Seats in the shade
    Because the upper level overhangs the lower level, rows R & up are covered in sections 107-117. The upper level has a trellised roof that's above rows J & up in sections 207-220. However, the position of the sun during afternoon games is such that only speckled shade is available in rows Q & up in sections 219-220, while all seats in sections 210-218 lack shade. If you really want shade, rows J & up in sections 207-209 is where you want to be, with a preference given to seats in rows J to P, as anything above row P can potentially have an obstructed view courtesy of the trellised roof's support beams. Over the course of the afternoon, most of the seats in sections 207-211 became shaded as are all seats behind the Braves' dugout (sections 108-110). You can expect full shade in those sections by 3:00 before daylight savings time starts, but not until 4:00 afterwards.

    VIP seating
    There are four luxury boxes and two open-air suites behind the upper level seats. A private party tent is on the patio behind the lower level bleachers (first base side of the stadium).


    Game Day
    Gates open 3 hours before game time. Because the Champion Stadium box office doubles as the Wide World of Sports Complex box office, the wait time for tickets can be rather lengthy if you arrive close to game time. So expect to spend 10-15 minutes in line then if you didn't buy tickets before game day.

    Food, drink and bag policy

  • Snack-sized food and non-alcoholic bottled drinks are allowed to be brought into the stadium (although the stadium's general rules say they aren't permitted).
  • Bags are allowed up to a maximum size of 16" x 16" x 8".

    Getting autographs
    Autograph opportunities inside the stadium are limited, as players from both teams access their clubhouse through a tunnel in their dugout, which means they don't have to walk close to fans in the stands. That said, some players do sign before the game. Visiting team players will sign for fans in the berm, which is close to their dugout. The visiting team's bullpen is cut into the berm, which makes it very accessible for fans. Braves players aren't as easy to get to. Your only real chance is to wait down the first base line in the sections just beyond the infield. That's near where the Braves do their pregame stretching...and if you're lucky, signing.

    After the game, the best place to get autographs is actually outside of the stadium. Head to the Baseball Quadraplex, which is where the Braves practice. Alongside the alley between the stadium and practice field #5 is where you want to be, as a handful of players often come over to the tall chain link fence to sign for the fans gathered there as they walk to their nearby parking lot. The Braves' main back field is also the best place to be to get autographs before the game, as that fence behind the backstop of practice field #5 is where more autograph opportunities take place then anywhere else. Granted, before the game you want to be back there at least 100 minutes before game time, as you won't see many, or any, players for a while after the Braves finish their batting practice. Fortunately, fans can try their luck inside and outside of the stadium whenever they wish, as you can come and go at Champion Stadium with your ticket. Just ask a gate attendant to scan your ticket out and then you can later be rescanned back in at any stadium entrance.

    Unique ballpark fare
    You won't go hungry. There are plenty of options and plenty of concession stands. All of your typical ballpark fare is available, sometimes with a twist (like a barbecue slaw dog), and the specialty carts down the first base line concourse sell some additional items, such as the smoked turkey sandwich that could be found in 2013. The norm here is that beer on tap is restricted to two choices at the main concession stands, where wider selections of bottled and canned beer are available. The recent debut of portable carts specializing in craft drafts has added to the suds selection, and they feature a "craft draft of the day" based on who the visiting team is. So, for example, you could find Brooklyn Brewery's Pennant Ale '55 when the Mets are in town. Atlanta's most famous export, Coke, is naturally the soft drink of choice and there's even chocolate milk for kids.



    2015 Braves Spring Training Schedule


    (only home games at Champion Stadium are listed)
     March/April
    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
          4
    Mets
    1:05
    Tickets
    5 6
    Nationals
    1:05
    Tickets
    7
    Tigers
    1:05
    Tickets
    8 9 10
    Mets
    1:05
    Tickets
    11
    Cardinals
    1:05
    Tickets
    12 13
    Tigers
    1:05
    Tickets
    14
    Astros
    6:05
    Tickets
    15
    Blue Jays
    1:05
    Tickets
    16 17 18
    Yankees
    6:05
    Tickets
    19
    Marlins
    1:05
    Tickets
    20 21
    Nationals
    1:05
    Tickets
    22
    Tigers
    1:05
    Tickets
    23 24
    Phillies
    1:05
    Tickets
    25 26 27
    Red Sox
    1:05
    Tickets
    28
    29
    Pirates
    1:05
    Tickets
    30 31
    Astros
    6:05
    Tickets
    1 2
    Orioles
    6:05
    Tickets
    3 4
    Orioles
    3:05
    Tickets

    * Single game tickets go on sale Monday, December 1. Links in calendar are to TicketsNow inventory.
    See the full 2015 Braves Spring Training schedule


    Ballpark Area Info
    Champion Stadium is part of Walt Disney World and spring training is just a small part of the resort's offerings. Specifically a part of Disney's 220-acre Wide World of Sports Complex, the stadium is just a couple hundred feet from entrances to the HP Field House sports arena and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill (formerly the Official All Star Café).

    Travelers' notes

  • Disney Transport buses are a ubiquitous sight near the stadium.
  • I-4 is close by, although it takes about 3 miles to reach by car.
  • Highway 192 is so close that lanes of it are visible from the upper level seats. Also known as Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, US 192 is the major, you can find everything on it tourist strip in the Disney area.
  • As you'd expect at Disney, there's plenty of security around the stadium to ensure your safety.

    Nearby Hotels

    Hotels close to Champion Stadium

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    Distance Hotel Street Address City/Zip Phone
    1.0 miles Disney's Pop Century Resort 1050 Century Dr Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 407-938-4000
    1.0 Radisson Resort Celebration 2900 Parkway Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-396-7000
    1.1 Palms Hotel & Villas 3100 Parkway Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-396-2229
    1.6 Rodeway Inn 5995 W Irlo Bronson Mem Hwy Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-396-4300
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    Nearby Restaurants

    Restaurants close to Champion Stadium

    Distance Restaurant Street Address City/Zip Phone
    0.1 miles Wide World of Sports Grill 700 S Victory Way Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-939-3463
    1.0 Fioni's 2901 Parkway Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-397-1485
    1.0 Little China 2901 Parkway Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-396-8999
    1.0 Kobe Japanese Steakhouse 2901 Parkway Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-396-8088
    1.0 Ocean Eleven Seafood Grill 2901 Parkway Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-396-7736
    1.0 Charley's Steak House 2901 Parkway Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-239-1270
    1.2 Nature's Table 200 Celebration Pl Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-566-0814
    1.3 Wendy's 2951 Arabian Nights Blvd Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-787-3577
    1.4 On A Roll Deli & Market 600 Market St Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-566-0291
    1.4 Upper Crust Pizza 606 Market St Kissimmee, FL 34747 407-566-1221
    List your restaurant or bar
    Nearby Airports

    Airports close to Champion Stadium

    Distance Airport Airport Code
    15.2 miles Orlando International MCO
    58.6 Melbourne International MLB
    64.9 Tampa International TPA
    65.8 Daytona Beach International DAB
    75.7 St. Petersburg-Clearwater International PIE
    89.9 Sarasota Bradenton International SRQ

    Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista
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