Two decades ago, a modest venue in Osceola County started its journey by hosting rodeos, the county fair, tradeshows, and a limited number of events. Over the years, Osceola Heritage Park, managed by ASM Global, has evolved into one of the most distinctive entertainment and sports complexes in the Southeastern United States.
With several facilities that can accommodate a variety of different events, from professional soccer matches and sold-out music festivals, as in this weekend’s Country Thunder, to agriculture shows and record-breaking car auctions, Osceola Heritage Park is a literal whirlwind of events, or as some would say, ‘OHP’ can be described as the “unicorn” of entertainment complexes.
In its first year of opening in 2003, Osceola Heritage Park hosted an average of 10 events per month, and fast forward to its 20th anniversary year, the complex now hosts 10 or more events in a week, often with multiple events on the same day. To date in 2023, the park hosted over 500 event days, bringing in approximately 750,000 visitors annually and producing more than $108 million in economic impact.
Osceola Heritage Park’s success can be attributed to the wide range of events it can accommodate across its sprawling grounds. Managed by ASM Global, the world’s leading venue management company and producer of live-event experiences, the 200-acre Osceola Heritage Park features the 10,000-capacity Silver Spurs Arena, 48,000-square-foot Events Center, the 7,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Heritage Club, the 5,400-seat Osceola County Stadium, and festival grounds capable of accommodating up to 50,000 guests.
“One recent weekend, the Jehovah’s Witnesses held their multi-week convention at Silver Spurs Arena, while the KVLS Pavilion held a hog sale, Orlando City B played a soccer game at Osceola County Stadium, an auto dealer held a selling event on property, and the Orlando Tattoo Show was running in the Events Center.” said Robb Larson, general manager for Osceola Heritage Park.
“There is no other facility around that can accommodate the quantity of simultaneous events or the wide range of rare and different events that we can host. We truly do believe that Osceola Heritage Park is a unicorn – there really is nothing quite like it.”
One of the longest running, and largest events hosted at the vibrant Osceola Heritage Park is the Osceola County Fair. The event which returns to OHP February 9-18, 2024, is a cherished annual tradition for the local community and visitors alike. A lively celebration of agriculture, entertainment, and community spirit, the fair offers a diverse array of attractions, including exhilarating rides, captivating live performances, and a multitude of engaging exhibits.
Another one of of the park’s most heavily attended events is the annual Mecum Kissimmee, known globally as the “The World’s Largest Collector Car Auction,” which takes up almost all of OHP’s 200 acres and welcomes 100,000 visitors. What started decades ago with just a few tents in a two-day event, is now a 13-day auction featuring more than 4,000 auto consignments, and in 2023, saw a record-setting $234 million in sales.
OHP is also home to North America’s premier country music festival, Country Thunder, which welcomed tens of thousands of festival goers in 2022 and is set to return this weekend to the venue, with an all-star lineup of Cody Johnson, Hardy, and Keith Urban, and numerous other country music luminaries.
Adding more to its mystique, OHP hosts multiple professional sports teams on its property, including acting as the year-round training grounds for the Major League Soccer team Orlando City SC and hosting Orlando City B’s home games in the stadium. Later this year, the Orlando Magic’s NBA G-League team, the Osceola Magic, will begin play in the arena and add another 24 events a year. Several multi-day amateur athletic events are now mainstays on the venue’s annual calendar, including numerous cheer, gymnastic, and jiu-jitsu events, as well as the FHSAA Wrestling State Championships, which brought almost 13,000 people to Osceola County for a three-day event earlier this year.
“Our investment to develop and build the arena and surrounding facilities known as Osceola Heritage Park is a great testament to the commission’s future-forward vision for our community,” said Osceola County Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “From celebrating our local heritage with rodeos and the County Fair, to setting the stage for large and diverse events that bring in visitors from all over the world, OHP has become a place that residents and visitors can call home.”
“Every year, the management team raises the bar with their creativity and their offerings, and it is evident just how confident the county leaders are in OHP’s leadership team, as earlier this year, they renewed the contract with ASM Global for an additional seven years through 2030.” said Tony Cima, Senior Vice President, ASM Global. “We couldn’t be prouder of what the team at OHP has accomplished over the past 20 years and we are excited to see what they have in store for the next 20.”