Port San Antonio, a wide-ranging technology campus in the Texan city, has detailed plans for a new innovation centre that will feature a new 2,500-seat arena capable of hosting esports events and concerts.

Port San Antonio’s board of directors has approved the construction of the centre, which will span 130,000 square feet and cost around $60m (£45.8m/€50.6m). The project will be funded through a commercial loan, which the Port will repay through revenue streams generated by the facility.

ASM Global will operate the innovation centre, which it is hoped will further the growth of the 1,900-acre Port campus. Any profits generated from the innovation centre will be used to support tech-focused, K-12, college-level and professional development programmes.

Construction on the centre is expected to begin this summer, with completion scheduled for early 2022. The project will be led by Sundt Construction, with designs having been created by local firm RVK Architects.

The 2,500-seat arena will be configurable for different uses such as esports competitions, concerts, product launches and large training programmes. The facility will feature retractable seating to allow it to host conventions and conferences.

The wider innovation centre will also include a new space to serve as the home of the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology; integrated classrooms and meeting spaces; a research and development lab; and a 24-hour electronic gaming area and full-scale food hall.

Virtual technology will be integrated throughout the facility, which will also include teleconferencing systems and broadcasting capabilities to stream entertainment and other content developed at the centre.

Chris Alderete, chair of the Port San Antonio board, said: “Our board has been hard at work to ensure that the Port serves as a strategic asset for all people in our region. Today, we have taken another major step forward in delivering on that promise to create a place that is welcoming to all people in our community.

“The innovation centre will be a venue that is exciting as it inspires, teaches and helps people connect with new career and business opportunities – from global companies to San Antonio’s small business owners who need a place to develop their ideas and market them to the world. We’re excited to continue expanding and strengthening a strategic economic growth model that is an example to the nation.”

Port San Antonio is located on the site of the former Kelly Air Force Base.

Images: Port San Antonio/RVK Architects