Texas may not seem like the most obvious location for an esports venue, but that's exactly what the state is getting with the massive stadium being built in Arlington, Texas.
The venue was referred to as Esports Stadium Arlington in a joint statement between the city government, the Populous architecture firm, and Esports Venues, LLC. With 100,000 square feet to work with, the new stadium will be the "largest and most flexible esports stadium in the country" when it's built in Arlington's Entertainment District.
Arlington mayor Jeff Williams revealed the plans for the venue earlier in the week while voicing desires to bolster the city's status as a tourist destination.
"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."
Both the city and Esports Venues, LLC, plan on investing $10 million into the project to create an immersive venue to give esports spectators a "live experience unlike any other" says Populous' Brian Mirakian.
"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 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."
While the goal is to bring in esports teams and viewers from both within and outside of the country, Arlington already has a thriving gaming scene at the collegiate level, something that the University of Texas Arlington president hopes will help fuel the success of the venue.
"We are proud of our students and pleased that they will be able to share in the events and competitions that will take place in this world-class facility just 10 minutes from campus," said UT Arlington president Vistasp Karbhari. "I'm grateful for the wonderful collaboration that exists between UT Arlington, the city and our community and look forward to another wonderful partnership that will keep Arlington and the metroplex at the forefront of this new exciting enterprise."
It's unclear what kinds of games and esports scenes the city hopes to attract with many of the mock images not explicitly naming teams, but Dota 2 was seen in the promotional images.