The city is proposing to give the Arlington Convention Center a $10 million makeover to create the first ESports venue in Texas.
The city of Arlington and its voters have contributed more than $800 million in recent years to build cutting-edge stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers.
Now, the city is proposing to give the Arlington Convention Center a $10 million makeover to create the first ESports venue in Texas.
The 100,000 square-foot Esports Stadium would open in the fall and host large and small events throughout the year. It could handle up to 2,000 spectators.
Ken Hersh, a minority owner in the Texas Rangers and a co-owner in Team Envy, an esports team, said all of the same things are happening in burgeoning sport that are taking place in professional teams.
“I see it exactly the same,” Hersh said. “It’s entertainment. It’s engagement. Its excitement. The players have skills. They an affinity for their team and there’s competition.”
From a business standpoint, Hersh said esports is exploding.
In 2017, the global esports market was valued at $493 million. By 2020, it is expected to reach $1.5 billion.
“It’s growing 15 percent a year,” Hersh said. “It’s global. It’s not dissimilar to the Premier League soccer teams. People may be fans of Man U but they’ve never been to Manchester.”
But as an emerging sport, there aren’t enough places to hold tournaments..
“What is in high demand are facilities to hold these events and there’s currently lack of facilities, said Ron Price, president and CEO of the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau.
During the first year, the city could host 30 ESports events and build up from there, Price said.