A 4000 capacity esports arena could soon be coming to Dundee’s Waterfront.
Dundee City Council has agreed a deal with Northern Lights Arena Europe Limited (NLAE) to explore design concepts for the multi-million pound facility, which would be located next to the city’s Slessor Gardens.
Esports is a fast-growing international phenomenon. It sees people around the world taking part in competitive, organised video gaming, with huge sums of money up for grabs.
Dundee is widely regarded as the birthplace of the Scottish games industry – some of the world’s biggest titles started in the city such as Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto.
The proposed new development – near the V&A Museum – is centred on a revolutionary new multi-purpose digital arena.
Officials hope the 18-month exclusivity agreement signed between the local authority and NLAE could lead to increased educational, economic, entertainment and employment opportunities for Dundee.
Chris Turner, NLAE CEO said: “We are delighted to be able to announce Dundee as the first of several multi-million-pound projects that the NLAE team is working on.
“We have been impressed with the forward-looking approach of Dundee City Council and their ambition to have a world class public space at the heart of Dundee.”
NLAE is already working with Abertay University, Europe’s top-ranked institution for video games education, to maximise the educational benefits of this project.
As part of the project, Abertay intends to develop a new range of degree courses related to the global esports job market, with students gaining access to bespoke facilities within the arena complex.
Abertay’s local college partner, Dundee & Angus College, would also be part of the project, ensuring opportunities for involvement are provided for young people across the region.
‘Abertay has an international reputation for excellence in the video games sector and is ideally placed to lead the educational delivery aspects of this project.’Professor Gregor White, Dean of Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics
Professor Gregor White, Dean of Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics said: “Abertay has an international reputation for excellence in the video games sector and is ideally placed to lead the educational delivery aspects of this project, with a view to opening up a new graduate talent pipeline to the esports industry, which is worth more than $1bn globally each year.”
Cutting edge facilities and technical infrastructure for the arena and academic campus will be designed with Nottingham Trent University’s Creative Technology faculty, Confetti.
Technology partners including Amazon Web Services, and low-carbon energy provider Vital Energi will guarantee that Dundee has a state-of-the-art facility for the 21st century.
Mark Flynn convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “Agreeing an exclusivity arrangement with NLAE is the best way forward to allow what is an exciting and potentially winning development the time and space needed to undertake feasibility studies and advance outline proposals.
“As a thriving and recognised cradle for games development, I can think of no better place for such a complex to be.”