Esports is closing in on hitting the big time, appearing in major sports stadiums like the Staples Center in Los Angeles or former World Cup stadiums in Germany. However, if Major League Gaming has its say, esports won’t just be borrowing stadiums for too much longer.
The North American esports institution announced today plans to open a dedicated esports arena in Columbus, Ohio. The venue is the latest in MLG’s growing portfolio, which includes studio space in New York City and a stadium in China, currently set to open in 2017.
The Columbus location puts the venue in close proximity to over 62 colleges and an extensive population of high school and college students, esports’ most prominent demographics. By placing the arena near The Ohio State University, MLG hopes to capitalize on the university’s Esports Initiative, a nonprofit organization that aims to build networks and professional skills for game developers and interactive media professionals.
The venue itself is equipped to host spectators and stream regular events live on MLG’s streaming network, MLG.tv. At 14,000 square feet, the arena features bleacher seating for hundreds of spectators, sound-proof booths for competitors, a broadcast platform for commentators, warm-up areas for teams, and video screens for attendees.
Doors will open on the new venue Oct. 24 as MLG hosts the $75,000 Call of Duty: Ghosts Pro League Season 3 Playoffs.