Sports Halls Of Fame
The Florida Sports Hall of Fame is closed for the summer. Reopening date: TBD Fall 2015
Until then, please visit the numerous other museums in Polk County.
Hall of Fame History
The Florida Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1958 by the Florida Sportswriters Association and the Florida Sportscasters Association, and had its first home in 1977 in Winter Haven’s Cypress Gardens. It closed at the Cypress Gardens location in 1985 and moved to Lake City in 1990. Due to poor attendance and a lack of funding from the state, the Hall was forced to close in 2002 in Lake City, and relocated to Auburndale in 2010.
All of that bad fortune changed when the Hall reopened at the brand new Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale. The location of Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale offered the built in traffic of thousands of sporting event participants, offering the right mix to keep the Hall of Fame open for many years to come.
Sports Hall of Fame
Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center in Davenport
Admission to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame will be free and the museum will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The exhibits of memorabilia from the Hall of Fame members will continually change, but some fixtures will remain the same year-round. As visitors walk through the doors of the museum, they will be greeted by a full-scale dragster donated by one of drag racing’s biggest names, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. The car is one of many that Garlits built from scratch and used during his illustrious racing career. There will also be several college football displays, including a tribute to Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden, that celebrate the state’s rich football history. As visitors walk through the Hall of Fame, large flat screen monitors play video and display Hall of Fame inductee bios and career highlights. An entire list of inductees, that seems to come out of a wall in a 3-D type display honoring the past inductees, is another highlight of the new museum.
Very few states can boast the type of sports tradition that Florida has, and now with a permanent home to some of the memorabilia that makes up that storied past, sports fans from around the country can see that history first hand. For more information about the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, contact Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing at 863-551-4714.