Plans to potentially build an esports arena could put Dundee on the “world map”, according to the CEO of a top American esports company.
Last week, proposals were unveiled to potentially build a 4,000 seater venue on Dundee Waterfront to host competitive video gaming tournaments.
Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports, which operates the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas and runs esports events all over the world, said the plan “speaks volumes” for Dundee’s potential.
Speaking from southern California, he said: “It is exciting, I think anywhere considering being involved in developing an esports arena is really thinking about being a prominent player in the future and becoming an entertainment destination.
“There is tremendous potential when done right.
“Today there are 400 million people every month tuning in to watch esports and there are 2.7 billion gamers in the world – that gives you a sense of how big this is going to be, and I think esports will be extremely prominent in the future of competitive entertainment.
“There is no difference from traditional sports, there is still that excitement with the crowds getting on their feet and high-fiving and cheering, esports has all of that.
Jud said an esports arena will bring in spending opportunities and jobs to the city as well.
He continued: “If done well this could put Dundee on the world map if it can attract these big events on a consistent basis.
“Thinking about an esports arena at this time is a gateway to positioning yourselves as a destination for competitive entertainment.
“Ticket prices can vary but there is a lot of opportunity for money.
“These events go on a lot longer than traditional sports, it could be three or four days straight, so you have that audience for a much longer time and their spend is significantly greater.
“It’s not like traditional sports where you are never going to go on the pitch and fulfil your dream of playing baseball, with this you can get that experience as an everyday gamer.
“It’s like golf at Pebble Beach or St Andrews, you go to play where the great players have played.
“In Las Vegas our arena capacity is 1,000 people and that needs 40 to 60 people working on production, so there is also tremendous job potential too before you even start looking at things like security.
“We did 300 events there in 2019 and I think a lot of cities out there are looking to become a destination, and esports will bring in that audience.
“Positioning yourself as an esports destination speaks volumes to Dundee’s potential.”