Arlington

The nation’s largest esports stadium is in North Texas. Here’s when the games begin

Take a look at the proposed $10 million Arlington esports venue

The city of Arlington is proposing a $10 million renovation of the Arlington Convention Center, to transform it into an esports venue. The 100,000 square-foot Esports Stadium would hold up to 2,000 spectators and be the first of its kind in Texas.
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The city of Arlington is proposing a $10 million renovation of the Arlington Convention Center, to transform it into an esports venue. The 100,000 square-foot Esports Stadium would hold up to 2,000 spectators and be the first of its kind in Texas.

This Thanksgiving weekend, pro and college football won’t be the only competition taking place in the city’s entertainment district.

Billed as the largest of its kind in North America, Esports Stadium Arlington will have its grand opening on Nov. 24.

The city of Arlington spent $10 million to create a 100,000 square-foot esports venue inside the Arlington Convention Center with the latest high-tech amenities.

“With Esports Stadium Arlington, we have positioned ourselves as both a national and international leader in the emerging esports industry. I can’t wait for people to see this state-of-the-art facility, the largest and most flexible esports stadium in the country,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams.

Founded by FACEIT and supported by YouTube, the Esports Championship Series will end its sixth season with a four-day Finals event that will see the world’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams compete for the grand prize of $250,000 USD, the largest piece of the $750,000 USD prize pool for Season 6.

Convention center renovation costs “would be repaid through annual lease payments, event revenue, stadium naming rights revenue and other opportunities associated with catering to the esports industry,” the city said in a press release.

The global esports market was valued at $493 million. By 2019, it is expected to reach $1.1 billion, according to newzoo.com.

When the stadium was first announced in March, Ken Hersh, a minority owner in the Texas Rangers and a co-owner in Team Envy, an esports franchise, said it is similar to a traditional professional sports league.

“I see it exactly the same,” Hersh said. “It’s entertainment. It’s engagement. It’s excitement. The players have skills. They have an affinity for their team and there’s competition.”

More than a quarter-million people follow Tim MacRae, as “Timmac,” on a platform called Twitch. Thanks to these fans, the professional esports athlete turned a gamer hobby into a career. Here, he offers insight into how playing video games can tra

This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @ fwhanna
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