Martin F. Garcia has demonstrated positive leadership for years as a volunteer baseball coach for the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). Since the relocation of the USSSA headquarters to Florida in 2017, the organization has been able to expand its offerings and create a larger, central location for major tournaments.
The USSSA had its beginnings in Petersburg, Virginia and was made an official sports association in 1968. The association initially began as the United States Slow-pitch Softball Association before rebranding itself in 1998 to be a more inclusive program. Today, the USSSA hosts a range of competitive sports and seeks to “empower our team and its partners with an unsurpassed platform to create and support world-class athletic events and sports programming to enrich and educate the lives of participants at all levels.”
Sticking to this mission, the USSSA announced in 2015 that it would relocate its headquarters from Virginia to Viera, FL, where it would overtake an existing sports arena as well as build new grounds for future competitions.
“The new headquarters not only helps the USSSA stand out as one of the nation’s top sports associations,” says Martin F. Garcia, “but it also provides a giant and beautiful grounds for teams from across the world to compete.”
Martin F. Garcia coaches his USSSA team in Wauconda, IL and encourages his players to improve both their athletic talent and their character. During regional and national competitions, his players get to flex their athletic talent in front of many spectators and sports representatives in a conducive environment. The new sports complex in Viera serves as the dedicated location for top USSSA competitions and expands the possibilities for bigger and more frequent national competitions.
The original name of the Viera sports arena was the Space Coast Stadium, and it served as the spring training facility for many national teams. Among others, the Space Coast Stadium was a facility to the Florida Marlins (1994–2002), Montreal Expos (2003–2004), and the Washington Nationals (2005–2016) in the past as well as the home field of the Brevard County Manatees (1994–2016).
“There was already a lot of good space to work with at the Viera stadium, and the USSSA worked hard to improve the complex and make it ready for larger competitions,” said Martin F. Garcia.
In a more than $30 million project, the Space Coast Stadium was transformed into the USSSA Space Coast Complex during a full year of renovations. An additional eight multi-purpose all-turf fields were built alongside the existing seven, and the association constructed an 18,000-square-foot training and rehab center that also houses the USSSA’s National Hall of Fame and Sports Museum.
“Relocating the headquarters to this massive new location was a bold and expensive move on the USSSA’s part,” says Martin F. Garcia. “However, now they have a nationally-recognized complex that is home to a range of specialty competitions, which earns the association esteem. It certainly makes the USSSA more credible and hopefully will encourage more players to get involved.”