As powerhouse videogame developer Blizzard has announced dates for the flagship BlizzCon gaming convention at the Anaheim Convention Center Nov. 2-3, Esports seems to continue to gain steam, as major venue architect Populous has announced a $10 million plan to build a dedicated esports venue in Arlington, Texas, and claims the esports industry may be worth more than $1 billion globally by 2019.

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Photo: Populous

Esports Stadium Arlington

“I know the gaming community across the globe is going to fall in love with this stadium and with Arlington,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams in announcing the project, which sees the city teaming with Esports Venues LLC. “We’re ready for the biggest tournaments in the esports industry to call Arlington home.”

Populous says the 100,000-square-foot space will be the largest and most flexible esports stadium in the country, and will open later this year in Arlington’s entertainment district. The stadium plan features a competition event space, gaming, retail and social spaces, VIP hospitality, a broadcast studio and team training areas. By redeveloping an underutilized space of the Arlington Convention Center, Populous says the development is comparatively inexpensive as opposed to new construction.

By 2020, esports is estimated to be a $1.5 billion industry according to market research cited by Populous.

“This esports stadium will transform the Arlington Convention Center and position the city as the epicenter for esports in the heart of North America,” said Brian Mirakian, senior principal at Populous. “Esports fans will encounter a live experience unlike any other, by way of space for up to 1,000 spectators, VIP amenities and year-round event potential.”

Meanwhile, other esports venues sprout up or other existing venues continue to host large gaming gatherings.

Blizzard has announced its new Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles will host esports events during BlizzCon Opening Week Oct. 25-29, with initial rounds of the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global FInals as well as Heroes of The Storm and World of Warcraft events.

The arena also has a job opening for Operations Manager, who will be responsible for day-to-day operations.

While new venues continue to spring up to meet the specific needs of these events, major concert venues have hosted gaming contests in recent years, such as KeyArena in Seattle, Staples Center in Los Angeles, Wembley Arena in London, and SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.