July 24, 2014
Tim Tebow at IMG Academy

Tim Tebow in Bradenton, working on his throwing motion with IMG’s football staff.

IMG Academy stadium rendering

A football stadium at IMG Academy is set to open later in 2013.

Photo: Rendering by IMG Academy

IMG residence hall

IMG recently opened a new residence hall for its 800-student prep school.

Sports Business

A growing field at IMG Academy

The 450-acre IMG Academy in Bradenton trains more than 12,000 athletes a year in golf, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and football.

Art Levy | 9/25/2013

In 1978, Nick Bollettieri opened a 40-acre tennis academy in Bradenton, where he guided the early careers of top-ranked players such as Monica Seles, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier. Bollettieri’s success caught the attention of IMG, a sports and media company, which purchased the academy in 1987. Bollettieri, 82, still works there — he’s on the tennis court coaching select students by 5:30 a.m. most days — but his academy has become a drastically different place.

In addition to tennis, the now 450-acre IMG Academy trains more than 12,000 athletes a year in golf, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and football. The academy has its own 800-student prep school, which will field its inaugural high school football team this fall, and training programs for college and professional athletes. The campus also has a Gatorade Sports Science Institute, where researchers study the impact of nutrition on sports performance.

There’s more growth planned. Chip McCarthy, IMG’s vice president of finance and operations, says the academy is in the midst of a $197-million long-range expansion that includes a recently opened $15-million residence hall and the first phase of a 5,000-seat football stadium scheduled to open this year. The stadium will feature a $1-million Jumbotron scoreboard. Other plans include a 40,000-sq.-ft. field house and numerous soccer, lacrosse and football practice fields.

IMG also plans to expand the prep school’s facilities and increase enrollment to more than 1,400 students. The school is also working to boost academics. McCarthy says it will offer an International Baccalaureate program by the 2014-15 school year. “Our goal is to be one of the top 10 academic prep schools in the country,” he says.

Tags: Southwest, Sports Business

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Lazydays to star in new Travel Channel show about buying an RV
Lazydays to star in new Travel Channel show about buying an RV

Shopping for an RV at Lazydays RV SuperCenter in Seffner is the focus a new reality show premiering Sunday on the Travel Channel.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

When Obamacare finally gets to the U.S. Supreme Court, do you believe it will stand, or be gutted?

  • The Affordable Care Act will stand
  • I believe it will be dealt serious, if not fatal, blows by highest court

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe