OverActive Media, the owner of the Toronto Defiant (Overwatch League), Toronto Ultra (Call of Duty League), and Spanish esports team MAD Lions, is creating a 7,000-to-10,000 seat esports arena in Toronto, according to ESPN.
OverActive Media has reportedly hired former Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment vice president Bob Hunter to coordinate with government officials on the venue. He has experience working on the development of other Canadian sports venues, such as the B.C. Place Stadium, Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena, and BMO Field.
The arena will be built next to BMO Field and Hotel X Toronto, according to ESPN. The deal to create this arena was negotiated between OverActive Media and the owner of the Hotel X Toronto, Henry Kallan.
Despite most major LAN events being canceled this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, other Overwatch League and Call of Duty League teams are in the process of building arenas. The Philadelphia Fusion planned to build a $50 million arena, called the Fusion Arena, to host its league matches starting in 2021. The Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium, the SoFi Stadium, will also include an esports facility. The owner of the Rams, the Kroenke family, also owns the Los Angeles Gladiators (OWL) and Los Angeles Guerrillas (CDL).
In mid-March, OWL matches from March and April were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But one week after the announcement, Blizzard decided to move them online. The 2020 CDL season is also being played online.
The Toronto Ultra are in 10th place in the Call of Duty League standings with 70 CDL Points. The Defiant are in 15th place in the Overwatch League. Their next match is scheduled for July 18 against the Washington Justice.