Edward Gaming, reigning League of Legends world champions revealed their plans to construct a new esports stadium in Minhang District of Shanghai. The LPL team’s new home will be called the Shanghai International NCC&E (New Cultural and Creative Esports) Center. The venue will be constructed by EDG’s parent group, Chaojing Group, also known as SuperGen.
The construction area will be spread over 500,000 square meters, the project striving to “build the world’s first new cultural and creative esports city”. The facility will feature two stadiums, “Super E-Sport” and “Super Show”, with the big stage located right in the center of the venue.
The “Super Show” Venue
The first venue has an area of 10,000 square meters and can seat 3,000 people. This is the designated arena for international competitions, and can also double as a multi-functional arena for other sports or performance events.
With a construction area of 10,000 square meters and 3,000 fixed seats, “Super Show” is the main venue for international competitions. It can be flexibly arranged as a multi-functional arena for small concerts, fashion shows, basketball games, etc.
The “Super Show” spanning 6,000 square meter will be Edward Gaming’s home ground, and includes 1000 retractable seats. This stadium will host all of EDG’s games and will act as the main esports venue.
Along with hosting esports, the project is a massive commercial enterprise which will also include multiplex cinemas, restaurants, a shopping mall, dining halls, and sports-themed stores, to name a few. With an initial investment of $720 million (5 billion yuan), the SuperGen Arena will become one of the largest single investment projects in the global esports industry if it comes through. The whole project is expected to exceed $1.4 billion (10 billion yuan). Construction is set to begin in 2023, with the expected deadline being in 2025.
Can We Expect More Esports Stadiums?
Right now, there aren’t a lot of dedicated venues for the sole purpose of conducting esports tournaments, but that landscape is quickly changing. At the moment, organizers use existing sports stadiums and convention centers that can be equipped with LANs and modified accordingly.
But the gaming audience is growing at an exponential rate. It expanded from 193 million in 2019 to 223 million in 2020, expected to gather another 70 million by 2023. And this covers just the enthusiasts, so factoring in the casual gamers and viewers would skyrocket that figure by hundreds of millions. Major brands and esports organizers have started to recognize this, and the construction of the LPL’s massive homeground is just the beginning.
Esports outfit Glytch is thinking big, with a vision to build 32 esports arenas across the United States in the next decade. Their goal is to monetize in-person audiences for digital games in the same manner as traditional sports, believing that state-of-the-art facilities could draw in even larger crowds by providing a centralized infrastructure for esports. Each stadium would cost between $54 million and $75 million to construct, and comprise 1,500 to 3,000 seats across a total of 120,000 square feet.
Glytch’s venture doesn’t have any major sponsors yet, but they have already kickstarted construction on their first stadium in Los Angeles, where several of the country’s top esports teams and gaming companies like TSM, Immortals, Cloud 9, Team Liquid and FaZe Clan are based out of. Of course, unlike South Korea and China where there is already an existing market for fans to watch live games, this target group might still need some nurturing in the west.