MSE details plans for flagship esports venue

Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) has announced plans for District E Powered by Ticketmaster, a new multi-purpose live-event venue next to Capital One Arena, home of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards.

The space will span nearly 14,000 square feet and offer year-round immersive experiences in esports, music, event programming and community events, along with pre- and post-event activations for fans attending Capitals and Wizards games or other events.

The venue will also serve as a competition and training venue for the MSE esports franchises, which include Wizards District Gaming and Caps Gaming. District E Powered by Ticketmaster will also look to serve as a “catalyst” to foster the amateur gaming community in the Greater Washington Metropolitan region.

Additionally, the venue will establish an East Coast satellite office for global esports outfit Team Liquid and host state-of-the-art streaming pods to tap into the ever-expanding streaming sector.

District E Powered by Ticketmaster will be located in the historic Chinatown neighbourhood of downtown Washington D.C., adjacent to Capital One Arena. The venue will also look to host additional programming including its own shows, viewing parties, corporate events and other programmes to drive visitors.

The venue will include a public-facing esports competition studio that will host over 200 events a year, as well as an esports practice centre. MSE is also partnering with Aramark to operate a restaurant and bar experience that will support events hosted throughout the year.

It is hoped the venue will be opened by the autumn. Architecture, Incorporated is responsible for the architecture and interiors, while construction is being led by KBR Corporation.

Zach Leonsis, president of media and new enterprises at MSE, said: “We are excited to invest in this first-of-its-kind venue for esports and other immersive experiences and know it will quickly become the preferred destination for pre- and post-event attendees with one-of-a-kind programming and food and beverage offerings.

“And given the rapid rise in the popularity of esports and the growing audience for gaming in general, we believe the time is right to build an esports-centric venue that serves as a rallying point for the gaming community in the Mid-Atlantic.

“The wide-scale, international appeal of esports brands is well documented. We believe that developing deep, grassroots-level connections within our local community is the natural next step for esports as the genre develops into a major league aside other traditional sports.”

Marla Ostroff, Ticketmaster’s managing director for North America, added: “The team at Monumental is always on the cutting-edge, adopting the latest technology and setting trends for live event experiences. District E Powered by Ticketmaster is an innovative and exciting concept that explores a whole new realm of live entertainment experiences. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Monumental in bringing District E to life.”

Since investing in esports ownership group aXiomatic in 2016, MSE has expanded its efforts in the space to include the NBA 2K League’s Wizards District Gaming, which has just won back-to-back championships, and Caps Gaming. Through its equity ownership in aXiomatic, MSE also owns equity in Team Liquid, Epic Games, Niantic, Dapper Labs and Nifty Games.

Images: Monumental Sports & Entertainment