Clermont, Fla. (May 22, 2023) – AAU, one of the largest, multi-sport event organizations in the world since 1888, today announced plans to create the AAU Event Center at Olympus. Spanning over 100,000 square feet, this unique indoor facility will celebrate “Sports For All, Forever” through high-tech training studios and immersive event venues for competitions.
“Olympus is creating the most impressive environment for athletes, fans and the community, and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said Kim Fessler, Governor, AAU Florida. “To think that we can now host, for example, the largest volleyball event in the world at Olympus –– with on-property hotels and entertainment, and a special Performance Institute for the athletes –– is just beyond exciting.”
The AAU Event Center at Olympus is expected to feature basketball, volleyball, martial arts, cheer, pickleball, climbing, futsal (indoor soccer), baseball and softball (pitching and hitting), as well as AAU offices, retail pavilions and cafés.
“We are honored to work with Kim and his incredible team at AAU,” said Matt Carroll, Olympus Senior Advisor, Sports Development. “The AAU Event Center will be a one-of-a-kind destination that highlights Olympus’ commitment to elevate sports and offer athletes and fans new, immersive venues that are designed to inspire and create moments of celebration and connection.”
“The aim of our partnership with AAU is to support and enhance the athlete’s journey and dedication, while at the same time creating a place filled with exciting experiences in a location that is truly special and unique in the whole world,” added Carroll.
“We look forward to welcoming AAU to the Olympus community and destination, and to the Clermont-Wellness Way area,” said Brian Bulthuis, Clermont City Manager. “With today’s announcement, Clermont is truly solidifying its reputation nationally as the ‘Choice of Champions.’”
“Olympus continues to be a catalyst promoting growth and innovation in the Wellness Way area and, more broadly, Central Florida,” said Sean M. Parks, Lake County Commissioner. “We are thrilled that Olympus and AAU are working to deliver this exciting Fieldhouse & Event Center in the heart of Wellness Way.”
Olympus announced that EDGE Sports Group, the premier athletic ecosystem specialists, will facilitate development and management of the AAU Event Center, as well as the Ice Center and other venues at Olympus.
“EDGE is a powerful addition to the Olympus team and we are confident in their ability to deliver on all aspects of sports venue development and management,” said Carroll.
“AAU is dedicated to the promotion and development of amateur sports,” said Fessler. “Our new home at Olympus will be a beacon for our 700,000-plus members and over 150,000 volunteers across 41 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts,” he added. The AAU Event Center is anticipated to open in late 2025.
“We offer programs across 41 sports, including the AAU Junior Olympic Games, the largest multi-sport event in the country, the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships, the largest volleyball event in the world, with more than 2,700 teams participating annually,” added Fessler. “And, since 1930, the AAU James E. Sullivan Award has honored America’s top amateur athlete.”
“The AAU Event Center will shine a spotlight on the AAU brand and serve as the premiere destination for sports training and competition,” said Carroll. “AAU and Olympus will be the leaders in sports innovation by placing the athlete at the center of the experience.”
AAU joins the growing Olympus portfolio of world-class partners that includes legendary athletes and coaches, as well as leading global sports, performance, media, and event organizations.
The Sports Campus is located at the highest elevation on the Olympus property, overlooking the internal lake with dramatic views of Central Florida. It is designed to include a range of traditional and emerging sports across indoor and outdoor training and competition venues. At full buildout, it will offer a year-round schedule of amateur, collegiate, and elite events, onsite hospitality and entertainment, and an all-encompassing Athlete Center and Performance Institute –– complete with the highest-level sports training and conditioning, nutrition services, and broadcast/media technology –– as the cornerstone.
In addition to the Sports Campus and AAU Event Center, plans for Olympus include a 5,800 seat, multi-purpose Arena, featuring connectivity and proximity to major local and federal roads, highways, and the Lake/Orange Expressway, an estimated $3.2b roadway project. The Arena will serve as a home for Central Florida professional and amateur sporting events, concerts, performing arts, conventions, and more.
Sports Campus plans further call for: an international soccer center comprised of a 3,500-seat soccer stadium and multiple soccer pitches; a 4.5-mile trail system for triathlon and other special events; a beach volleyball pavilion; an Ice Center (twin ice pads for ice hockey and figure skating); and the largest authentic red-clay tennis court center in the U.S., capable of hosting large-scale events on par with major international tennis competitions.
Additional details regarding the AAU Event Center building design, programming, and events will be announced in the months ahead.
Olympus is designed as a platform for business innovation and economic growth –– a smart, connected wellness community and global sports and entertainment destination. Olympus features a synergistic array of development opportunities in healthcare, wellness, fitness, sports training and competition, hospitality, and residential. These zones of excellence are centered in and around a vibrant Town Center, serving as the heart of the Wellness Way growth area in Greater Orlando. The Olympus development team has created proprietary market drivers –– an innovative master plan, high-value entitlements, world-class partners, a sports campus, and a perfect location.
These drivers build business and real estate development within the 243-acre master planned community and destination, which is projected to drive 2,800 direct, onsite jobs and over $1.5 billion in economic value at buildout.
The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports. During its early years, the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic Games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts on providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grassroots level. The philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever,” is shared by more than 720,000 participants and over 150,000 volunteers.
With the establishment of the AAU Event Center at Olympus, the AAU continues to expand its commitment to promoting and developing amateur sports. This new home will not only serve as a beacon for its members and volunteers but also elevate the AAU brand as a premiere destination for sports training and competition. With the athlete at the center of the experience, AAU and Olympus are set to lead in sports innovation and create a place filled with excitement and inspiration.
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