Next month, it's game on for Arlington and its new esports stadium.
The city of Arlington announced that the Esports Stadium Arlington will open to the public on the weekend after Thanksgiving, giving the city the right to brag that they are home to the largest gaming and esports facility on the continent.
The complex will mark the grand opening by hosting FACEIT's Esports Championship Series Season 6 Finals in which pro gamers will compete in rounds of the military first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for prizes from a $750,000 pool of cash.
Arlington first announced the esports complex construction project in March as a $10 million, 100,000-square-foot facility that will provide the largest space for esports and gaming tournaments in North America. Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams described the future facility as "a national and international tourist destination" that will offer "a live experience unlike any other by way of space for up to 1,000 spectators, VIP amenities and year-round event potential."
The 1,000-seat main arena will also house an 85-foot-tall LED wall screen to showcase some of the esports world's biggest tournaments and events. Competitors will be able to gear up for their tournaments and bouts in one of eight team rooms and rest up before and after matches in a dedicated player lounge.
The facility will also serve as a broadcast hub for its major events and tournaments on digital networks and traditional broadcast outlets with a full stocked production facility that includes a broadcasting studio, a state-of-the-art data center
Pro gamers won't be the only players who will be able to access Arlington's newest and biggest gaming center. Gamers who aren't paid thousands of dollars to play video games 20 hours a day can participate in recreational LAN and local game tournaments and watch live Twitch streams of tournaments and games in the ES Play community gaming center.
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Brian Mirakian, the senior principal at the architectural firm Populous that designed Esports Stadium Arlington, says designing the biggest game stadium in North America that could house scores of fans for massive gaming tournaments was the kind of challenge they've been waiting to tackle.
“We applied 35 years of creating event venues to bring Esports Stadium Arlington to life, and it will undoubtedly be the place where people will love to gather for esports events,” Mirakian said. “The energy in the venue, being able to feel the excitement and pulse of the game and having the ability to powerfully connect players and fans signifies a new era for esports.”
Williams says the city jumped at the chance to house the gaming facility because of the potential benefit for its local economy and neighboring businesses.
“With Esports Stadium Arlington, we have positioned ourselves as both a national and international leader in the emerging esports industry," Williams says. "I can’t wait for people to see this state-of-the-art facility, the largest and most flexible esports stadium in the country. The opportunity to provide jobs combined with growing tourism is phenomenal.”