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Calling all gamers: Conestoga College builds new esports arena


A brand new esports arena is coming to Conestoga College’s Waterloo campus.

The school announced construction will begin on the state-of-the-art facility next year, with plans to open in the spring of 2025.

“It will certainly be a first-of-its-kind in the area,” said Andrew Bates, Conestoga College’s associate director of sport & recreation.

The college said the facility will come with a 400 person capacity, with high-quality streaming, top-tier gaming PCs, premier consoles, immersive virtual reality and more.

“It will [bring] a large audience and more [people] can enjoy,” said Nimesh Chaudhari, a program lead at Conestoga College’s ESports Hub.

Since their inception in 2020, six varsity esports teams have competed online in the college’s eports hub. Players and staff believe the new space will over a gaming area that’s similar to a live sporting event.

“The energy you can draw from the crowd, it just is comparable to your traditional sports. Being in a football stadium, being in a hockey arena,” Ontario Post Secondary ESports League Commissioner, James Fitzgerald told CTV News.

According to the Government of Ontario, the esports industry brought in more than $5.5 billion to the Canadian economy in 2021

“There’s a lot of rapid growth. We’re seeing infrastructure develop, there’s been a lot more programming, more events,” said Allister Scorgie, sport hosting director for Explore Waterloo Region.

The province said the industry supported 55,000 full-time jobs in 2021.

“You’re getting a lot of money coming in from sponsorship dollars, butts in the seats,” said Fitzgerald. “You’re getting a lot of people who grow up with it and that’s where they want to take their career.”

The arena will also be used for student education, with several departments planning to launch new programming.

The college said the budget for the project tops out at $4 million. Top Stories

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