Florida Sports Hall of Fame Opens at Lake Myrtle

The Florida Sports Hall of Fame opened in ribbon cutting ceremonies this morning and now shares quarters with Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing at their new Lake Myrtle complex. The Hall of Fame houses memorabilia from some of Florida’s most famous sports stars from the past four decades. Upon walking into the museum, visitors are greeted by a dragster, donated by Hall of Fame racer, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits (pictured below).

A number of Hall of Fame members were expected at the festivities including: Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Doug Sanders, Charlie Owens, Don Garlits, Fran Curci, Jimmy Carnes, Roger Strickland, Hubert Green, Pat Borders, Catie Condon and Ruth Alexander.

“We are so excited to be able to share this grand opening with the Hall of Fame members, the people who make this new building what it is,” said Florida Sports Hall of Fame Chairman, Rick Dantzler.

The Florida Sports Hall of Fame began in 1961 and returns to its roots so to speak as it was once housed in the Snively Mansion at Cypress Gardens. It’s new location is at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex, 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Rd, Auburndale, FL 33823.

Please note that the new Florida Sports Hall of Fame officially opens Tuesday, June 29.

Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on event weekends.

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5 Responses to Florida Sports Hall of Fame Opens at Lake Myrtle

  1. Mary Lou Burdette-Wieloszynski says:

    It is nice to know that the Florida Sports Hall of Fame is back and found a new home. I did not know what happened to the belongings after it closed in Lake City. I am glad to find out it has been rel-located and wish you success. My Father Lou Burdette was inducted into the in the 90’s. I will look forward to visiting as I have a business in Polk Co. and the people in Polk are so warm and welcoming. Mary Lou

  2. Kevin Ward says:

    There’s one key player that I don’t think got enough recognition for his part is this spectacular project. For months he tirelessly sifted through mountains of invaluable sports memorabilia that he has meticulously stored in several local warehouses. He worked late hours and long weekends to put together just the right combination of items for each unique display. He drove hundreds of miles in his own vehicle traveling back and forth between, the museum, local fabrication shops, warehouses, and hundreds of meeting with everyone involved to make this project what it is. A lot of the work he did was on his own dime. I was blessed with the opportunity to work with him on this project and I have to say, when the going got tough, he kept going, this guy is one class act.
    A big (huge) round of applause should go out to Hank Longo for the countless hours he has spent designing and creating such a refreshing and vibrant atmosphere at the “New and Improved” Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Thank you Hank, it look great!!

  3. Hank Longo says:

    Thank you Kevin for your kind words!
    I have received numerous accolades from Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing Staff and continue to do so, Mark Jackson, Fay Downing and Marc Zimmerman, to name a few, and all the staff, along with the Central Florida Development Council, have been very aprreciative, thankful and grateful of all the hard work and have said so personally and in public. Commissioner Sam Johnson extended his thanks to Mark and I and our entire staff on the great ribbon cutting event. Florida Sports Hall of Fame President Rick Dantzler, Bert Lacey and other FSHOF Board Members have also extended their sincere thanks, along with numerous other people. All the hard work has been very much appreciated! I’m thankful, honored and flattered I could be a part of making the Florida Sports Hall of Fame Museum a reality!

  4. DON PARKS says:

    is the florida sports hall of fame open tues. thru friday if there are no sports events taking place?

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