Last week, the City of Arlington, Texas announced plans to collaborate with Populous in transforming the city’s convention center into North America’s first Esports Stadium. This 100,000-square-foot venue will be designed to draw in both competitive players and fans from around the world, and create the most immersive experience in the live esports market.
The design of the stadium will be flexible in order to house a wide variety of esports events. Not only will it feature a major competition arena, but also gaming, retail, and social spaces, VIP areas, a broadcast studio, and training areas for competing teams.
“This esports stadium will transform the Arlington Convention Center and position the city as the epicenter for esports in the heart of North America,” said Brian Mirakian, senior principal at Populous. “Esports fans will encounter a live experience unlike any other, by way of space for up to 1,000 spectators, VIP amenities and year-round event potential.”
“I know the gaming community across the globe is going to fall in love with this stadium and with Arlington,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “We’re ready for the biggest tournaments in the esports industry to call Arlington home.”
The esports market, still in its early stages of development, is a phenomenon that shows promise to have an impact on not only the world of traditional sports but a new variation on stadium typologies as we know them. Last year, esports was valued at just under 500 million dollars, and by 2020, is projected to be a 1.5 billion dollar industry.
Esports arenas are envisioned to be adaptable, programmable, and serve a multitude of events- something that traditional sports stadiums often don’t have the ability to do. While stadiums typically house their home sporting events and occasional music performances, esports arenas aim to expand outside the confines of their venue by imagining the design of neighborhood areas with different buildings to support a range of crowd sizes and event types. From multi-level gaming experiences to high-performance training buildings, labs, drone racing courses, esports villages will have year-round events for the public to experience.
This type of development has the ability to offer what a sports and entertainment venue aims to provide: a constant flow of spectators who can interact and experience technology in a way that drives a new brand and increases revenue and investment opportunities.
News via: Populous.