To bring new life to hotels, malls and other facilities, a rising number of real estate owners are turning to eSports lounges, stadiums and arcades. In some cases, developers are putting tens of millions of dollars toward stadiums for eSports that are home to tournaments for video games, The Wall Street Journal reported.
MGM Resorts International, for instance, transformed a former Luxor Hotel & Casino nightclub into an arena for eSports last year. The venue, which is 30,000 square feet, comes with an LED wall that is 50 feet. In December, it brought in over 4,000 people for a League of Legends tournament. In addition, the hotel and casino company is also looking into other ways to host eSports events in lounges and bars that already exist. MGM Head of Esports Lovell Walker said, according to the outlet, “We want to be as creative as possible.”
And Simon Property Group, a mall owner, said in June that it would be investing $5 million to become an Allied Esports International Inc. shareholder. It also reportedly plans to roll out an eSports competition that would be held at some Los Angeles and New York malls. In addition, city officials in Arlington, Texas repurposed a portion of a convention center to create an eSports stadium that is 100,000 square feet that opened in late 2018.
In separate news, retailers are getting into the eSports business, too: GameStop is making a push for eSports with efforts for reinvention in a changing environment for retail. The moves include partnerships with North American eSports teams as well as clinics for gaming for amateur players.
GameStop Chief Marketing Officer Frank Hamlin said per previous reports, “It’s no secret that eSports has evolved into a cultural phenomenon within the gaming community.” Hamlin continued, “As the place where video game culture comes to life in every neighborhood, GameStop is entering the space in a meaningful way to empower the amateur community.”