What Your Destination Needs to Know About the Booming Industry of eSports

We’ve done the research for you and this is just the beginning of a series of articles we will be sharing on how cities can and why they should tap into this market.

The eSports Market, Leverage the Phenomenon to Boost Tourism

The widespread appeal of eSports makes events and tournaments a potentially major draw for tourism. eSports events are selling out stadiums, convention centers and other large venues around the globe. In 2015, there were 112 major eSports events, and they generated $20.6 million in ticket revenues.

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The Stats

In 2019, an estimated average of 427 million will be watching some form of eSports and the industry is expected to be worth more than $1.23 billion; and by 2020 worth an estimated $1.5 billion as brand investment doubles. The entire eSports market is expected to continue growing globally in the coming years, with revenues projected to reach 1.79 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.

In the United States, these events have become a major draw for tourism in cities like Los Angeles and New York. The projected growth trend for eSports suggests that many other cities can leverage the phenomenon to boost tourism and engage members of the community.

Gaming today is played at elite levels, with the top players competing in salaried leagues and annual tournaments for huge purses. Millions of people around the world stream their virtual battles, and tens of thousands fill arenas and stadiums to watch them compete live.

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How eSports can Benefit Your Destination

With eSports events attracting crowds comparable to live established sports games, professional sports franchise owners will be aware that eSports can provide an avenue to fill arenas. As the market continues to grow, owners would benefit from events that can fill up their arenas when games are not on.

Is your destination planning a renovation or expansion of an arena or convention center? If so, you may want to keep the eSports market in mind.

The key from a cost and usage perspective is that most of the eSports venues that are popping up around the country have NOT been built from the ground up. They’ve been constructed within preexisting structures that have been previously used as convention centers, nightclubs, sound stages or movie theaters.

Is Your Destination Up to Snuff? eSports enthusiasts in your city need robust broadband infrastructure.

If leaders in your community are struggling to see the value of robust broadband infrastructure, eSports and online recreation may be the missing link. In order to leverage this booming new industry, cities need to ensure their broadband infrastructure is up to snuff. Online gaming and streaming activities are driving the need for reliable, low-latency broadband service.


Cities Hosting eSports

Here are a few of the Cities That Understand eSports Potential

Arlington, Texas

Let’s look at Esports Stadium Arlington, which is the largest esports events center in North America. It’s a $10 million, 100,000 square-foot facility built within the Arlington Convention Center that can seat anywhere from 250 fans to 2,500 fans depending on the event.

Washington, DC

Events DC will likely end up spending over a million dollars on esports. Much of that will go toward promoting video game events in the new $69 million Entertainment and Sports Arena in Southeast, which was designed to accommodate esports along with basketball, concerts and other events.

Brooklyn, New York

eSports Recap at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center
View event recap with ESL Global chief strategy officer Craig Levine and BSE Executive Vice President of Programming Keith Sheldon on the eSports event at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Burbank, California

Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, home to the Overwatch League, opened in a converted sound stage once used for The Tonight Show.

Santa Ana, California

In 2015, the first eSports Arena was launched in Santa Ana, California, as the United States’ first dedicated eSports facility.

Los Angeles, California and Seattle, Washington

Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Seattle’s Key Arena have welcomed tens of thousands of attendees at a time for a variety of eSports events.

For now, however, the hub of eSports, and the epicenter of some of the biggest events planned around the world, is still in Los Angeles

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