The Esports Stadium Arlington
The city of Arlington Texas unveiled its newest marvel, the Esports Stadium Arlington, the largest eSports venue in North America…
On Monday, November 19, we were invited to partake in the unveiling of North Texas' latest technological marvel, the Esports Stadium Arlington. Arlington is already a well known sports destination, hosting both the Dallas Cowboys at the AT&T Stadium, and the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park. The city partnered with Populous and NGAGE Esports to construct the largest eSports venue in North America, hoping to make Arlington (and North Dallas) a hub for eSports in addition to its well-known sports stature.
Populous was chosen for their expertise in designing cutting edge sports-related venues with NGAGE Esports providing the eSports and gaming-related tweaks to make the venue a reality. The Esports Stadium Arlington is a 100,000 square foot space within the existing Arlington Convention Center complex with seating to accommodate a 2,500 person crowd watching the matches on its 85 foot long LED wall screen above the competition area.
From the initial approach to the venue, it is obvious how much importance Arlington is putting behind its new Esports Stadium Arlington. It has top billing on the venue sign as well as an LED screen scrolling announcements for upcoming events at the venue. The venue's kickoff event will be a CSO League event occurring over the Thanksgiving weekend (Nov 24 – 25).
Upon entering the venue, you are greeting with a large and brightly lit space with no doubt left as to its eSports-centered use. There are hanging banners with the venues core themes – Fan, Player, Icon, as well as a large name plaque with the venue's logo, a mural with various eSport-related highlights, and a fully stocked merchandise section. The merchandise section has various gamer wear, as well as video cards and peripherals, on display and for sale for those interested.
Upon entering the Esports complex proper, you first enter the gaming area containing various console and PC gaming areas where both the general public and teams to play their chosen titles of choice. They even have console style stations where players can get the true 1-v-1 experience.
What most excited me where the PC-based gaming nodes, each hosting a total of six seats arranged in a hexagonal orientation. All systems include large Acer monitors and Corsair keyboards and mice, as well as a gaming system using nothing less than a Titan-X video card, thanks to their primary sponsor NVIDIA. The pictures don't do the stations the justice they deserve. Additionally, there is a gaming area in the back of the room hosting 12 PC stations (six per side) for more open team play. Each of the gaming areas is also equipped with a high-end RacerX gaming chair.
The console play areas are also equipped with Acer monitors and RacerX gaming chairs for the ultimate in comfort while gaming along with existing or new friends in your Playstation 4 or Nintendo Switch game of choice.
In addition to the traditional gaming setups, the gaming area also contains multiple sets of Arcade style cabinets to get your 1-v-1 gaming on. The cabinets feature large LED displays, Arcade-style joystick and push-button layout, as well as stereo speakers to give you a truly immersive gaming experience.
The centerpiece of the Esports Stadium Arlington is the Competition Arena with its 85-foot wide viewing screen, 2,500 person seating capacity, and team competition areas on the front stage. The front stage can accommodate two teams with up to six players per team. As you can see from the pictures in the arena area, it is very well lit.
The competition area, for the teams and players competing in the event, consists of two sets of six seats on a stage that looks out over the seated audience. Above the player area is the 85 foot LED screen, spanning almost the entire front of the Arena. In the center of the stage is the MC podium from which they can direct the event.
To the right of the front stage is the eSports announcers area with seats for up to four game announcers and multiple cameras to get views of the entire Arena area.
The crowning part of the Competition Arena is the venue logo on the ceiling above the front part of the Arena.
What opening event would be complete without a taste of what a real competition event would feel like in this massive Arena. Two teams of two players each went head to head in a grueling Rocket League match. As you can see, the front display works for competition viewing.
More information on the Esports Stadium Arlington and upcoming events be hosted there can be found at the venue website.