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Athletic academy plans expansion into all-encompassing sports complex

UMR Sports will add baseball and softball fields, mini golf and a multipurpose field for soccer, football and lacrosse to its campus in east Bradenton.

Six pickleball courts opened at UMR Sports in early 2022.
Six pickleball courts opened at UMR Sports in early 2022.
Photo by Scott Lockwood
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Two things run in Ryan Moore’s DNA: sports and farming.

Moore grew up playing sports from elementary school through his college years while also tilling the land and working with cows on his family’s 500 acres known as Moore’s Dairy Farm on Upper Manatee River Road,

Moore’s father, Duane Moore, gave him 52 acres, and Moore decided to devote the land he spent years farming to his passion for sports. 

Two years after opening UMR Sports, an athletic academy and sports complex, Moore is looking to expand his vision even further.

UMR Sports has six pickleball courts, four sand volleyball courts and a baseball and softball training facility.

Once approved by the county, UMR Sports will expand to include a five-plex of 12-U baseball and softball field for all ages, an adult baseball field, a multipurpose field for football, soccer and lacrosse. There also will be a mini golf area and a covered pickleball barn.

Moore hopes UMR Sorts will be an all-encompassing park complex that will bring people of all ages together to participate in multiple sports through its expansion.

Ryan Moore, the founder of UMR Sports, is planning to add pickleball courts, baseball and softball fields, mini golf and a multipurpose field for soccer, football and lacrosse as well as apartments to the UMR Sports campus.
Photo by Liz Ramos

He said it is a thrill to be able to open up his land for county residents to be able to play sports or watch their kids playing sports as they grow up.

“The county needs recreational types of fields, and we’re blessed to be able to offer that, which is super cool,” he said.

For baseball and softball, Moore said he wants to provide a fall and spring youth league as well as hosting tournaments for those sports all year round.

The additional pickleball courts are a result of pickleball being one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

Another aspect of the expansion will be apartments. Moore said some of the approximately 200 units will be reserved for teams to stay and play while the rest will be leased for Manatee County residents. The apartments, which will be called The Vibe at UMR, will have the same colors as UMR Sports, which is blue, yellow and orange.

Residents will have access to UMR Sports memberships and the academy’s facilities through the apartment complex, he said.

Moore said the apartments were not a part of the original expansion plan, but the growth of Manatee County made him realize more people were looking for housing.

The apartments will be valuable to those who come to participate in an event from farther distances in the state or those from out-of-state.

Collin Moore teaches baseball and pickleball at UMR Sports.
Photo by Liz Ramos

Depending on when UMR Sports receives approval from the county, Moore said he can break ground on the expansion project in late spring or early summer. He hopes the project can be completed in 2025.

Moore said Manatee County officials approached him when the county began looking into widening Upper Manatee River Road as Moore and his family own the most land on the road. The county is putting a stormwater pond in the back of the property for the conversion of Upper Manatee River Road into four lanes. 

“We were very eager to work with the county because we understand the need,” Moore said of Upper Manatee River Road becoming four lanes. “Yes, it’s going to be a mess for a little bit, but long term, it’s going to be a way better option for the public.”

With its location being between Lakewood Ranch and Parrish, which are both experiencing significant growth, Moore said UMR Sports is in the perfect area to provide recreational facilities.

“There’s not enough land that’s being dedicated to projects like we’re doing,” he said.

UMR Sports has partnered with Wolves Head Pizza and Wings to sell the restaurant’s pizza at all events. As the expansion comes to fruition, Wolves Head Pizza and Wings also will have pizza kiosks around the campus.

Every Thursday UMR Sports also hosts a food truck rally with at least five food trucks. Moore said once the expansion is complete, the goal is to have food trucks on campus permanently rather than having concession stands.



Liz Ramos

Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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