Illinois’ Next Arena Could Be $30 Million Facility For Esports
Esports could be getting a new $30 million arena in Illinois.
If someone told me that there was going to be a brand new arena built in Illinois, I would immediately think of which Chicago team it would be for. The Bears, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, or Fire?
Ok, when I saw the price tag of $30 million, then my thoughts would change. That is not a big enough budget for any of those big professional sports teams. I would switch my focus to the colleges. Maybe, University of Illinois, Northwestern, or Northern Illinois University.
If that was not the answer, then maybe it is designed for a minor league team. Possibly baseball, hockey, or basketball. I would still be way off. This new facility is proposed for gamers. That is people who play video games. Of course, they would use it for tournaments or what is considered esports.
According to abc7chicago.com,
"Chicago City Council approved a new $30 million arena Wednesday in Bronzeville. The venue would be used for esports and virtual reality, where professional video game players would be able to compete. The proposed building would occupy more than 100,000 square feet, and it would be able to host more than 1,000 people."
You might think that idea is completely insane. I used to think the same thing but I now understand esports are a huge thing and it is not going away anytime soon.
I first heard about esports while my daughter was going to Rockford East High School. I took her to registration and there were a bunch of school clubs for students to join. One of them was for esports. I talked to the coach and he was telling me about how popular it was plus all the tournaments that compete in.
After she graduated and started going to Rockford University, they had one too. In fact, they have a special gaming area in the student center. Last year during the time when all sports were put on hold, some channels replaced the programming with esports tournaments.
When I was a kid, my friends and I enjoyed playing video games but not like this. I think the closest I ever came to something like esports was in college, my roommates and I started a 4 team league in the game "Baseball Stars" on Nintendo. We got to create our own teams and play games against each other. We were lucky to make it through a whole season.
Now, kids are competing in video game tournaments in arenas all over the world for money. I guess parents can no longer say, "stop wasting time on those video games because it will never take you anywhere." It is strange how life works out sometimes.
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