Esports Arena Las Vegas, the Strip’s first dedicated esports arena, opened its doors at the Luxor Hotel and Casino on March 22 with a series of events, including a multi-day, live-streamed tournament. TheStadiumBusiness spoke to Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports, the company behind the development, to find out more about the development in the first of our series of Project Profiles.

TheStadiumBusiness: What was the cost and timeline for the project?

JH: “We announced plans for Esports Arena Las Vegas in April 2017 and opened the building on March 22, 2018, so the entire timeline was about a year. We have not publicly discussed the specific cost of development for our arenas to date.”

TheStadiumBusiness: Who were the partners behind the project?

JH: “MGM Resorts International and Luxor Hotel and Casino have been tremendous partners, from the moment we saw the space for the first time to getting the facility up and running for our grand opening. We have also announced a number of foundational partners, including HARMAN Professional Solutions, HyperX and Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, the team behind our gaming-inspired food and beverage offering at the arena.”

TheStadiumBusiness: What was the vision behind the project?

JH: “With properties across North America, Europe and China, we wanted the flagship to be our championship destination, and there are few cities that inspire excitement and anticipation across continents and cultures like Las Vegas. In addition to daily play for local communities and millions of tourists that come through the Strip, Esports Arena Las Vegas will host high-stake tournaments across all game genres with the idea of winning your way to Las Vegas as the ‘wow’ factor that will drive participation and attendance to our events throughout our global property network.”

TheStadiumBusiness: Could you tell us about the design?

JH: “The most important part about the design of Esports Arena Las Vegas, which is the case for all our Esports Arena locations in North America, is its modular set-up. Because we work with so many different publishers and partners, it was imperative that the space could be transformed day-to-day. We can go from having 100 PCs on the floor for a tournament one night to having the telescopic seating pulled out with additional seating on the floor for a stage show. The flexibility of our arenas, especially Las Vegas, is a game-changer.”

TheStadiumBusiness: What sort of technology will be incorporated into the project?

JH: “Esports Arena Las Vegas is a state-of-the-art, 30,000-square foot production facility that is comparable to any current TV studio around the world with the addition of a competition stage and a 1,000 square foot LED Wall. And with great partners like HARMAN providing audio, visual and control systems, and an outstanding staff, we know we have the capabilities to produce content that will set us apart from others in the industry.”

TheStadiumBusiness: What have been the key challenges associated with the project?

JH: “Like other venues in the entertainment industry, our biggest challenge is making sure we deliver a compelling offering for guests each and every day. Because of our publisher and game-agnostic approach, we believe we can clear that hurdle by providing a unique daily experience and consistent, top-tier programming and content through our own productions and through co-produced content with partners.”

TheStadiumBusiness: What are your hopes for the future of the project?

JH: “We recently hosted one of the most anticipated events of the year, Ninja Vegas ’18, which set a number of viewership records online and was a first-of-its kind format in the Fortnite community. That event was a great example of what this arena is capable of: an amazing live experience for players and audience members, and a world-class production that is engaging for viewers at home. We hope that the success of Ninja Vegas ’18 and our other upcoming events this year will solidify our position as the industry leader for dedicated venues, exciting event brands, and amazing content.”

PICTURE CREDITS: Esports Arena Las Vegas