With the current global pandemic wreaking havoc on sporting events all over the planet, even esports events have been affected – and that’s a problem that a new idea, drive-in esports arenas, aims to solve.
Of course, mirrored after the classic drive-thru cinemas which became hugely popular in America back in the ’50s and ’60s, the drive-in esports arenas are set to allow esports fans to reconnect with their passion in a way that’s safe and promotes social distancing.
An announcement was made a few days ago, and in the announcement, it revealed that real estate investment company Horizon Group Properties has entered a partnership with powerful esports analytical company Harena Data LLC (who already operate the brand USA Drive-Ins” to start developing esports arenas; and currently, there are set to be a number of locations throughout America, including Louisville, Ky, Gettysburg, Pa, and El Paso and Laredo in Tx.
Not Just Esports
The four major U.S. cities that the drive-in esports arenas are set to open in aren’t just going to focus on esports, however; they’re also set to act as drive-in mobile theatres, and from a business point of view this makes sense; it’s highly likely that drive-in movie theaters would generate more revenue than drive-in esports arenas alone, given the fact that movies are, clearly, more popular with the general public than esports.
However, on the esports side of things, it looks as though the companies behind the events are looking to offer fans a very unique experience, where they will be able to watch – and even compete – in various Esports events right from their cars.
James Harris, the managing director at Horizon Group Properties said:
“Horizon is committed to innovation, to its retailers, and to the communities we serve. These drive-ins are a new and updated, albeit retro, component of centers, that give shoppers added reason to visit their local retailers and are a fun entertainment offering to the community. To top it off we know this exciting attraction will have safety as a priority.”
It’s a unique approach – and it’s likely to gain significant appeal with esports fans, especially given the fact that it looks as though COVID-19 is going to be staying with us for the near future. What will be interesting is whether or not the idea of drive-in esports arenas really become popular with players or not.
It’s clear that esports is on the rise; Goldman Sachs, for example, has publicly estimated that the number of people following esports and various other forms of online game streaming is expected to reach a whopping 300 million people by 2022 – and that, at current figures – would surpass the number of people who follow the MLB in the USA, proving that esports is looking more and more likely to be here to stay.
Whether esports drive-in arenas will prove popular remains to be seen – but there’s clearly a demand for it, and many will be watching the execution of the first events to see if it’s something that can be rolled out to other locations or even other countries!
Cover Photo Editorial Credit: Roman Kosolapov / Shutterstock.com