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Disney Settles Suit Over Sports Complex

September 26, 2002|Associated Press

Walt Disney Co. reached a settlement with two businessmen awarded $240 million by a jury that decided the company stole their idea for its Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court papers approved by an appeals court in Daytona Beach, Fla. Disney attorneys and the businessmen wouldn't comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.

The settlement ended Disney's appeal of the August 2000 verdict for Palm Harbor, Fla.-based All Pro Sports Camps. All Pro founders Edward Russell and Nicholas Stracick met with Disney executives in the late 1980s to pitch a sports complex they called Sports Island. They showed Disney a model and gave them a business plan.

Disney rejected the idea at the time, according to testimony, but within a few years the entertainment giant began crafting the sports facility that became Wide World of Sports, which opened in 1997.

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