Esports Stadium Arlington, the largest gaming and esports events facility in North America, has opened its doors as it prepares to stage its first major event at the weekend.

Located in the heart of the entertainment district of the Texan city, Esports Stadium Arlington is a $10m (£7.8m/€8.8m), 100,000 square-foot facility built to serve the demands of the esports industry. Designed by Populous and brought to life with build partner Shawmut Design and Construction, the stadium features a competition space with a built-in 85 feet-long LED wall that’s accompanied by an immersive sound and theatrical lighting system.

A first-of-its-kind production facility equipped with Grass Valley systems will power event broadcasts, complete with a dedicated observer room, caster studio, data centre and control room. A dedicated Team Area includes eight Team Rooms, a space for players to strategise and practice, a Player Lounge and spaces created specifically for media and staff.

Esports Stadium Arlington will also seek to cater to a wide variety of audiences and event types by transforming previously underutilised space of the Arlington Convention Center. The stadium features a major competition event space, gaming, retail and social spaces, VIP hospitality, a broadcast studio and team training areas.

Starting on Saturday, the venue will host FACEIT’s Esports Championship Series Season 6 Finals, a $750,000 prize pool tournament scheduled to coincide with Thanksgiving Weekend.

The city council approved the renovation project, as well as a $250,000 annual lease agreement with Esports Venues, earlier this year. Deputy City Manager Jim Parajon told the Star-Telegram newspaper that the city will also get a portion of the revenue from tickets sales and other fees associated with esports events.

In a statement, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said: “With Esports Stadium Arlington, we have positioned ourselves as both a national and international leader in the emerging esports industry. The opportunity to provide jobs combined with growing tourism is phenomenal.”

Populous senior principal Brian Mirakian added: “We applied 35 years of creating event venues to bring Esports Stadium Arlington to life, and it will undoubtedly be the place where people will love to gather for esports events. The energy in the venue, being able to feel the excitement and pulse of the game and having the ability to powerfully connect players and fans signifies a new era for esports.”

Image: Populous