Who Owns Esports Arenas?
Esports have created a new frontier in entertainment, offering visual companies and real estate developers alike an entirely new business opportunity. Thanks to the influx of money, sponsorships, and fans, venues dedicated to esports are popping up around America – including some major metropolitan areas.
Vindex, the leading global esports infrastructure company, acquired Belong Gaming Arenas in 2020 and plans to construct hundreds of esports centers throughout America. These hubs will host tournaments and provide gamers with a social space to connect and socialize.
These esports venues are tailored to the needs of players, competitors, audiences and commentators. Typically they feature large video screens, high-density Wi-Fi coverage and plenty of space for teams to practice, train and hold meetings before or after events.
Las Vegas is home to HyperX Arena, one of the country’s premier esports arenas. Situated inside Luxor Hotel & Casino, this expansive facility features 50-foot LED video walls, 120 PC and console stations, as well as telescopic seating for spectators.
Colleges are beginning to embrace esports and create gaming spaces. For instance, the University of Akron constructed a 5,200 square foot gaming facility which has already hosted numerous competitions, providing students with scholarships as well as practical experience.
The UCO Co-Op Esports and Gaming Arena in Oklahoma City is an innovative space, boasting custom-built PCs for competitive gaming. It also hosts a range of esports competitions across different games.
Chicago will soon have its first esports arena when Surge opens in the Near South Side Bronzeville neighborhood later this year. Politicians hope that Surge can stimulate tourism and business activity in an area which has suffered for years. Furthermore, it will introduce local middle and high school students to esports, providing them with valuable exposure to this rapidly growing industry.
Esports are being increasingly adopted into other venues, such as theaters, warehouses and cinemas. To run effectively, these establishments need a fast wired internet connection for players and Wi-Fi service for spectators.
They must also have ceilings tall enough to mount multiple large video screens for the audience, plus plenty of seating and room for concessions, merchandise and team storage.
Despite its growing popularity, esports remains a relatively small part of the overall gaming industry. That may change however as more people recognize its economic benefits and the potential for expansion within this field.
At present, esports is still a niche sport with a small but engaged audience and increasing number of teams competing in leagues and tournaments around the world. Its future may hinge on its ability to replicate traditional sports and whether advertisers can afford paying for sponsorship and advertising at levels that match esports’ potential.
If esports is successful in replicating other sports’ growth, it could eventually become an integral part of American culture. That would necessitate an expansion of esports tournaments and in-person championships, sponsorship deals for venues and products alike, as well as high-quality integrated AV systems to accommodate all the media content, replays and livestreaming that goes into these games.