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Baseball, Hockey, Gridiron and ‘little NASCAR’ Star in Pensacola

Watching professional baseball never looked this good. The Blue Wahoos — a Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds — play their home games at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, a 5,000-plus seat multi-use venue that overlooks beautiful Pensacola Bay and the downtown harbor.

And the bayfront stadium goes #ArgoStrong in the fall when the University of West Florida Argonauts college football team kicks off its debut season of NCAA Division II play.

Professional baseball and college football are just part of a vibrant year-round coastal sporting life in Pensacola which offers activities for fans and athletes of all ages.

From April to September, Blue Wahoos’ fans can reserve traditional, modern stadium seats or enjoy games from covered and open-air party decks. Fans also can plop down beach blankets in the lush grass behind outfield fences.

The Argos venture into college football arrives on the heels of UWF’s NCAA National Championships in soccer, softball, tennis and golf.

Champions Play Here

From October through March, the Pensacola Ice Flyers faceoff before a raucous, family-friendly crowd at the Pensacola Bay Center. The Flyers have been slap shooting, body checking and penalty killing their way to three Southeast Professional Hockey League championships in four years.

Rubbin’ is Racin’

Short track car racing fans love Five Flags Speedway and the annual Snowball Derby in December. The 300-lap Super Late Model race, which began in 1968, draws some of the biggest names in short-track racing. The half-mile, banked asphalt short-track racing venue puts the fans right on top of the action. Racing heats up in the summer with Late Model and multiple lev-els of races. The season wraps up the first weekend in December with the Snowball Derby, which is known as a proving ground for the future stars of NASCAR. Kyle Busch won the Derby in 2009.

Top Athletic Venues

Hosting soccer and baseball events year-round, the Pensacola area boasts two sprawling sports complexes that cover more than 300 acres. More than 3,000 children participate in athlet-ics at the complexes, which have become a destination for families who can enjoy a coastal va-cation with their children.

Ashton Brosnaham Athletic Park holds soccer and softball tournaments for athletes of all ages. The 117-acre facility has ten soccer fields and four softball fields. It has hosted the Gulf South Conference NCAA Division II soccer tournaments for the past seven years — and the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2011.

The Southwest Escambia Sports Complex is located just a few miles from the pristine beaches of Perdido Key. While the 17-field, 217-acre athletic complex holds youth soccer, baseball and football, it also includes nature trails, a playground, and numerous pavilions for fans and visitors alike.

All these sports and activities are located just a short drive from the nationally acclaimed, sugar-sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico — and a vibrant, growing downtown Pensacola.