The Lake Myrtle Sports Complex opened in 2009 to help host the RussMatt baseball tournament, which was being played throughout Polk County. At the time, the landscaping was not yet complete, sidewalks had not been poured, and basic bleachers accommodated the visiting guests. Today the facility is a beautiful site with a thriving landscape, covered stands, and multiple concession areas. The grounds feature 9 baseball fields and 11 soccer fields. At one end lies the base of operations for Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing and the other is home to the Florida Youth Soccer Association.

RussMatt has played a part in the success of the Lake Myrtle facility. For 11 years now, they have hosted their annual tournament in Polk County with the majority of games played at Auburndale’s premier sports facility. This year, the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational featured nearly 300 teams, who brought along families, team supporters, and talent scouts to the Central Florida area. It was a great event and one that is expected to return to Polk County for the 2020 tournament.

RussMatt isn’t the only baseball organization that has found the green fields of Auburndale. The Homeschool World Series Association (HWSA) is currently holding their 20th annual tournament at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. Chuck Hendricks, a director of the association, says, “It’s a wonderful [facility], so family friendly. As you can see we have a lot of kids . . . The parents feel safe around here.” During their stay, those families typically spend some time visiting attractions like Disney, Legoland, and Florida beaches. You can catch this year’s championship games on May 4, 2019, starting at 9 AM on Field 1 at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. This event is free for guests to attend.

This month the City is also looking forward to the 7th annual Memorial Weekend Classic with Prospect Wire Baseball. The national organization serves as a platform to showcase high school baseball talent while compiling a database that helps recruiters find potential players for their college programs. The weekend event will take place from May 24 to May 27.

The Lake Myrtle Sports Complex is also making big strides on the soccer fields. The Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) Main Office sits alongside the main field. In the past few months, their association has hosted a number of youth league tournaments at the Lake Myrtle site. On May 18 – 19, the FYSA is hosting the State Cup Finals, which is the highest premiere competition at the state level and the first leg of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series.

The Florida Tropics Soccer Club has also found Lake Myrtle’s fields suitable for their newest franchise. Last month, they introduced their new professional development team to Auburndale in a home opener that brought 1,853 spectators to the sports complex. This team will compete in the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL). They’ve quickly made a name for themselves in the league during the first 5 matches. The Tropics have won each of their games in the inaugural season and have yet to be scored on. You can catch them this Saturday, May 4, 2019, on the main soccer field starting at 7:30 PM.

The UPSL team is the newest addition to the Tropics Soccer Club. The organization has been around for 3 years, having debuted in 2016. They now have three teams competing in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL), United Soccer League Two (USL2), and the UPSL. They are looking forward to their biggest game yet in their short history and it takes place right here in Auburndale. The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will hold a first-round match between Tropics SC vs. The Villages SC. ESPN will be broadcasting the live coverage of the match. You can catch the game at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available on the Tropics website.

The Lake Myrtle Sports Complex is certainly thriving these days. Throughout the year it attracts many organizations to host their events at the venue, and it’s not always baseball or soccer being played on the fields. In the past year, Boathouse Tournament of Champions brought a lacrosse championship and the South Regional Championship for US Quidditch was hosted at the site in February. There are plenty of opportunities presented to go out and enjoy some highly-entertaining sports here in our backyard. Be sure to visit sometime and discover what makes the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex a special place to be.