Esports-Specific Venues Need To Avoid Traditional Arena Features
Esports pioneer Scott Smith said new venues being developed for esports need to avoid the seating and designs of traditional basketball, hockey and concert arenas. “These venues aren’t built to take over a weekend,” Smith said during Arizona State Univ.'s Global Sport Summit. Smith, a veteran esports exec and analyst, said traditional arenas are built to host three-hour sporting events or concerts not much longer. “They’re not built to camp out in eight, 10 hours a day,” Smith said. Instead, Smith, known as "SirScoots" within esports circles, said esports are better suited for theater-type settings with more comfortable seats, roomier rows and different sight lines than sports arenas. “We are starting to go into some theaters which have more comfortable seats, viewing angles,” said Smith. New venues are being built or in the works as esports popularity grows. The $10M, 100,000-square-foot Esports Stadium Arlington is being designed by Populous as part of a project that redevelops part of the Dallas suburb’s convention center. Smith expects more cities to go after esports, pointing to new venues in Las Vegas. “Vegas has lost their mind over esports,” he said. Esports is projected to be a $905M business this year with a 380 million-person audience, according Amsterdam-based market intelligence firm NewZoo.
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