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March 14, 2018

Arlington to Build Big Esports Stadium in Convention Center

Photo by typhoonski/iStock EditorialGetty Images Plus/Getty Images

Arlington, Texas, is making a push to draw e-sports events with plans for a new, 100,000-square-foot stadium, billed as the largest e-sports stadium in the United States

With a planned opening date set for this fall, the Esports Stadium Arlington is planned to have a major competition event space; gaming, retail and social spaces; VIP hospitality; a broadcast studio; and team training areas. 

Mayor Jeff Williams announced the new venture with Esports Venues, LLC, during a news conference Wednesday at the Arlington Convention Center, which would become home to Esports Stadium Arlington.

“Being on the forefront of new ideas and setting trends is in our DNA and part of who we are as The American Dream City,” Williams said. “Esports Stadium Arlington will further cement our city’s status as a national and international tourist destination. Players and fans will come here for the tournaments and they’ll stay even longer to experience everything Arlington has to offer.”

By collaborating with award-winning sports and entertainment architecture firm Populous, the City of Arlington and Esports Venues, LLC, plans to invest $10 million into the Arlington Convention Center to transform it into a stadium that offers a spectator experience for the live esports event market.

Brian Mirakian, senior principal at Populous, said that the venue will have space for up to 1,000 spectators, VIP amenities and the potential for events year-round. 

The city’s proposed agreement with Esports Venues, LLC, includes an initial 10-year lease with a 10-year renewal option. Arlington’s renovation and equipment investments would be repaid through annual lease payments, event revenue, stadium naming rights revenue and other opportunities associated with catering to the esports industry.

Arlington’s ability to adapt to an emerging sports entertainment market and readiness to make strategic investments to attract the esports tournaments and other high-tech entertainment events reflects the city’s drive to remain a thriving tourism destination, said Ron Price, Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO.

In 2017, the global esports market was valued at nearly $493 million. By 2020, esports is estimated to be a $1.5 billion industry.

“We are creating the most unique and technologically advanced space available for meetings and conventions in North Texas. The production capabilities and technological innovations being introduced to the current facility are like nothing the market has seen before,” Price said. “Arlington’s ability to deliver an elevated customer experience can only serve to expand the meeting and convention market for the city."

The stadium will be managed by NGAGE Esports.

Arlington is already home to an active, engaged gaming community at the University of Texas at Arlington, according to the announcement.

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