Dubbed “The Fortress,” the new arena will be home to Armada, Full Sail’s varsity esports team. Its official opening and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place the week of May 19-23, which also happens to be the school’s 40th anniversary and its 10th annual Hall of Fame week.
The Fortress is 11,200 square feet and has room for 500 fans, which makes it the largest esports arena on a college campus to-date, Full Sail said. Meanwhile, a separate dedicated practice space will give student athletes a place to prepare for upcoming tournaments. During a sneak preview in March, Full Sail president Garry Jones pointed to the university’s embracing of esports as an example of its dedication to cutting-edge industry trends.
“This is not just about a great new place on our campus,” he said. “This is about a great new place in our region — Orlando and beyond. Thanks to the power of streaming we can reach tens of millions of people from this space.”
The rapidly growing esports industry is expected to surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year, according to market intelligence company Newzoo. It will make an estimated $1.1 billion in 2019, which is a year-on-year growth of 26.7%. About 82% of the total market comes from endemic and non-endemic brand investments, Newzoo said. That includes media rights, advertising, and sponsorships.