TALLAHASSEE — The ever-expanding Florida sports landscape is allowing the 2020 Florida Senior Games to broaden its horizons.
Due to the restrictions in Broward County, now allowing the Games to be played in its original location, events will be held in a variety of locations.
Two new communities have been added to the roster in Alachua and Pasco counties, two areas of the state with a collection of new sports facilities. Four of the five new locations have opened within the last three years.
The first weekend of the 2020 Florida Senior Games finds action at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus in Pasco County. Additionally, Alachua County welcomes athletes to the Easton Newberry Archery Complex, in Newberry, and the Hotel Indigo Celebration Pointe, in Gainesville.
The Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus (WRSCPC) hosts Bag Toss, Basketball Shooting, 3-on-3 Basketball and Volleyball at the 98,000 square foot facility that features 70,000 square feet of total clear span hardwood surface. The indoor facility has room for 16 volleyball and eight basketball courts.
“This venue is unlike anything else in the Tampa Bay sports market,” said Sports Development and Tourism Manager Consuelo Sanchez. “It’s solely dedicated to sports and includes everything event organizers and planners look for, all under one roof. Having an on-site hotel really adds to the convenience WRSCPC offers to event planners who are considering different venues.”
Since the facility opened earlier in 2020, it has hosted cheerleading, basketball and gymnastics events.
Archery athletes may have spent some time at the Easton Newberry Archery Complex, located in Newberry, west of the City of Gainesville, since it opened in 2009 but not in the Florida Senior Games.
The facility, which will host FSG archers on Sunday, December 6, hosts a dedicated outdoor range with a 160-foot covered shooting line. The practice field is used for daily lessons and tournament warm-up and has shooting distances out to 90 meters. It is connected to the facility by a large paved patio and sidewalks.
Gainesville’s Hotel Indigo-Celebration Pointe Opened in October 2018 and is located just off Interstate 75, near the University of Florida and will host Tai Chi. The hotel is in the heart of Celebration Pointe, a modern live/work/play planned community with shopping, dining, entertainment and local culture.
As the 2020 Florida Senior Games moves into the week, a couple of other new complexes open the doors to FSG athletes, December 7-10.
The expansive Legacy Park multipurpose facility, in Alachua, offers 40,000 square feet like no other of its kind in the area. It is the site of many recreational, cultural arts and community events in North Central Florida. The crown jewel of this completely open floor plan structure is the gymnasium area, which opened in 2017, which is comprised of four full-sized basketball/volleyball courts, including a championship court in the center of it all.
“This is a very nice and big facility for table tennis,” said FSG Sport Director Brad Woodington. “There’s more room than what we played with in Lee County and Clearwater in recent years. The local club, the Gainesville Table Tennis Community, will be able to provide plenty of good tables and volunteers to make for a successful event.”
The Legacy Park Amphitheater and Multi-Purpose fields will be hosting a Grand Opening Ceremony on October 29.
Finally, the newest of the 2020 Florida Senior Games facilities, the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center, in Zephyrhills, hosts four days of Pickleball. The $4.9 million state-of-the-art facility is expected to alter the landscape of a city known nationally for its water.
Following its Grand Opening, on October 17, the center has a full restaurant and bar, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays, and brunch and dinner on weekends. The restaurant will be able to seat about 60 patrons inside and at least another 100 outside.
Besides the new facilities and their top of the line venues for competition, there’s also plenty of the latest amenities found at sports complexes around the country.
2020 Florida Senior Games Venues in Alachua and Pasco County
Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County (Wesley Chapel)
Bag Toss: Saturday, December 5
Basketball Shooting: Saturday, December 5
Basketball 3-on-3: Saturday, December 5 & Sunday, December 6
Volleyball: Saturday, December 5 & Sunday, December 6
Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe (Gainesville)
Tai Chi: Saturday, December 5
Easton Newberry Sports Complex (Newberry)
Archery: Sunday, December 6
Legacy Park Multipurpose Center (Alachua)
Table Tennis: Monday, December 7 & Tuesday, December 8
Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center (Zephyrhills)
Pickleball: Monday, December 7 – Thursday, December 10