To: ALL MEDIA
For Immediate Release

April 13, 2005
 

For more information contact:

Steve Wagner
(203) 426-1320

Shooting Events For ESPN Great Outdoor Games
To Be Held At Central Florida's Tenoroc Range

Hailed As Ideal Site For Shotgun, Rifle Events

NEWTOWN, Conn.—Rifle and shotgun enthusiasts tuning in to the ESPN Great Outdoor Games presented by Dodge can expect to see world-class facilities at this year's shooting sports venue, Tenoroc Shooting Sports and Training Range, near Lakeland, Fla. Shooting industry officials list Tenoroc as their first choice for firearms sporting events in central Florida because the facility regularly accommodates a variety of competitions.

The Games will be held July 7-10, and broadcast July 13-17, 2005, on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports. Last year, nearly 36 million people tuned in to watch the Games, a new high for the event.

“We’re excited to again be part of the Great Outdoor Games, and we look forward to competing at Tenoroc,” said Cyndi Dalena, director of shooting sports development for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF®), which sponsors ESPN’s rifle and shotgun events. “Tenoroc has a great reputation among shooters, and that’s important to NSSF. This is a first-class facility, and its staff is experienced in handling high-profile shooting events.”

The rifle and shotgun competitions will be the only events not held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, so Tenoroc’s location, 30 miles southwest of Disney, is a bonus. The Tenoroc shooting complex covers 170 acres and has several shooting ranges to accommodate rifles, shotguns, handguns and archery shooting. It also features a fully stocked pro shop, an ample parking lot and a covered rifle range. The property is three miles northeast of Lakeland and is surrounded by the sprawling 7,300-acre Tenoroc Fish & Wildlife Management Area, which is owned by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The state of Florida leases the shooting-range property to Mark Smith, president of Tenoroc Shooting Sports and Training. Smith has operated the Tenoroc complex for five years. He said between 15,000 and 20,000 shooters use the facilities each year. These events include charity and corporate shoots, monthly tournaments for the National Sporting Clays Association, and hunter-education shooting instruction for all classes from the surrounding five counties.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing our facilities and—more importantly—helping increase the awareness among non-shooters of the fun they can have in shooting sports,” Smith said. “Everyone in the Lakeland area has been excited since first hearing ESPN chose Tenoroc to host its Great Outdoor Games’ shooting events.”

Because of Tenoroc’s diverse facilities, this will be the first time in the Great Outdoor Games’ six-year history that it won’t require the event’s firearms ranges to be built from scratch to meet local safety concerns. “We’ll hold both of the ESPN events on our 100-yard rifle range,” Smith said. “ESPN will build bleachers and grandstands that don’t exist right now to accommodate spectators, but our ranges were built to ensure safe shooting.”

Among those who consider Tenoroc a wise choice is Jack Robertson, special-events manager for NSSF. “When ESPN started looking around central Florida for a place to hold the firearms events, Tenoroc was my first choice, so I’m glad we’re going there,” Robertson said. “We also like the fact it’s close to the Interstate and not far from Disney. But Tenoroc’s main attraction is that it lends itself perfectly to our events, whether you’re a shooter or spectator.”

Another one of Tenoroc’s fans is Kevin Howard, president of Howard Communications in Elsberry, Mo. Howard’s company handles public relations for Winchester Ammunition, and Browning and Winchester firearms. Howard and his associates chose Tenoroc for their outdoor writers’ and sales representatives’ shooting events that preceded the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show at Orlando in February 2003. Howard said his firm intends to use Tenoroc again when the SHOT Show® returns to Orlando in January 2007.

“When we looked around before the SHOT Show in 2003, we knew we needed a place that could handle all three firearms we work with—rifle, pistol and shotgun,” Howard said. “Tenoroc accommodated us real well. Everything worked out fine. Mark Smith and his staff made sure we had what we needed, and that we had enough staff to run our events. We’re looking forward to our next trip to Tenoroc.”

The four-day ESPN Great Outdoor Games presented by Dodge was held in Lake Placid, N.Y., during its first three years, 2000-2002; and then visited Reno, Nev., in 2003 and Madison, Wis., in 2004. The 2005 Games will feature more than 200 athletes competing in more than 30 events. In addition to the target sports, which include archery, the Great Outdoor Games feature sporting dogs, timber events and, for the first time this year, ATV competitions.

Since its inception in 2001, ESPN Outdoors has strived to inform and entertain anglers, hunters, campers and people of all ages who enjoy the outdoors. ESPN Outdoors is committed to increasing awareness of outdoor activities, a direction best exemplified by daily television programming totaling nearly 1,000 hours annually on ESPN and ESPN2.

Each year, ESPN Outdoors stages more than 30 marquee events including the CITGO Bassmaster Classic and the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. ESPN Outdoors comprises BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing that sanctions more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation. ESPN Outdoors also features Bassmaster.com, ESPNOutdoors.com, a weekly outdoors show on ESPN Radio as well as a growing array of promotions and activities that deliver a clear message of conservation and ethical sportsmanship. For more information, contact ESPN Outdoors Communications at (334) 551-2375.

NSSF is the professional trade association for the shooting, hunting and outdoor industry. It manages a variety of industry services, safety, participation and public relations programs. Its efforts have been well received—today, more than 40 million Americans safely participate in the shooting sports.