Could a new 4,000 seat Dundee esports arena become a reality?
The new venue, based at the city’s waterfront, is a step closer to being built following an agreement between the Dundee City Council and the Northern Lights Arena Company (NLAE).
The company has secured an 18 month exclusivity agreement with the local authority for two of the lots on Dundee’s waterfront development. The company plans to build a “multi-purpose arena that will host sporting events as well as an esports academy, retail, accommodation and working spaces.”
According to the Courier, this will allow the firm to progress initial design concepts and gain strategic advice.
Northern Lights has said the arena could provide educational, economic, entertainment and employment opportunities for Dundee.
NLAE certainly seems to have the chops to make this happen. The company’s chairman is Michael Grade, while Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, who is credited with revising the fortunes of the Millennium Dome, sits on its board.
NLAE has already made agreements with both Abertay University and Dundee and Angus College to provide its facilities to students on esports related courses.
Professor Gregor White, dean of Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics, said:
We are delighted to be involved in bringing forward this exciting partnership-led development for Dundee, which has the potential to make a significant contribution to the future development of Scotland’s digital economy.
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 $1 billion globally each year.”
Chris van der Kuyl, the chair of 4J Studios, told the Courier:
This could be one of the first esports venues to become a reality and it’s also good to see the relation to academia because esports will continue to be huge.
The point is that whatever happens in the future, connecting technology to events space like this is going to be massive and designing the tech in from the start gives Dundee a massive opportunity to capitalise.
The chief executive of NLAE, Chris Turner 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 working with global technology partners, including Amazon Web Services, to provide unparalleled facilities and experiences.
NLAE is working with Vital Energi to develop and deliver a low carbon energy solution for all NLAE projects and other local customers in Dundee City Centre.
Chris van der Kuyl added that Dundee would need to improve its Internet connectivity considerably, for the venue to have the greatest potential impact:
This will need enormous capacity built in and it will be possible to bring that to Dundee.
When you are playing esports the time from when you press a button to something happening has to be as instant as it can be.
That means we will have the absolute Rolls Royce of broadband connections to the Waterfront in Dundee and the city in general.
By being at the leading edge of that the local business community and residents in the city will benefit.
We’ll bring you more information as we get it.
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