A look inside America’s largest esports stadium

A lot of the time, esports can be dismissed by outsiders as people playing video games. In reality, it’s an electronic sport competition that, in 2020, will produce a $1 billion in revenue without a typical advertising platform.

The Esports Stadium Arlington is no joke either. The 100,000-square-foot venue is the largest esports facility in North America. The arena has the most cutting edge custom 90-foot LED setup so its 2,500 spectators can see all of the action.

“Esports is a fast-growing industry,” Jonathon Oudthone, President of Esports Stadium Arlington, explained to In The Know. “It’s on pace to be one of the biggest spectacles in the world.”

“If you don’t have esports in your city, you’re missing one of the most innovative industries in America right now,” mayor Jeff Williams said.

Esports is rapidly growing and changing, so the stadium is equipped with all the necessary tools and technology to adapt to anything. The space is designed to be modular.

There are locker rooms and team areas so teams from around the world can visit and train. These spaces are also used for online qualifiers.

There’s also a broadcast control room that, as Oudthone told In The Know, may look like something you’d see in most traditional sports control rooms. However, there’s an observation room where all of the in-game action is directed and produced — which accounts for 85 percent of the broadcast.

“When you walk into Arlington’s Esports Stadium, you immediately feel the energy and the anticipation,” Williams said. “It’s awesome to be around that, no matter what age you are.”

It’s quite the jump from the early days of competitive gaming, where participants would compete in whatever local spaces were available, like restaurants or bars. The community was small, the prize pool was small and a lot of the time players weren’t interacting face-to-face.

With the stadium, players can interact with each other and it creates an entirely new experience.

“For decades, Arlington has been known as a major sports hubs,” Oudthone said. “You have the NFL, you have the MLB. Now they have esports, and it’s a big part of where this society and where this community is going to go.”

If you enjoyed this story, you might also like reading about The Sports Science Lab.

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