Arlington, Texas, invests $10 million in… eSports?
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Arlington, Texas, invests $10 million in… eSports?

There have been plenty of signs recently that eSports is being accepted as a mainstream phenomenon. But perhaps the most interesting comes from the city of Arlington in the state of Texas. There, as much as $10 million of taxpayer money is being spent on what officials call the United States’ eSports stadium. Arlington is no stranger to competition: the city, which has a population of 396,000 people, has spent roughly $1 billion on football and baseball stadiums.

Video game companies held in the Fund are making progress so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

It hasn’t been the best month for eSports. At the end of August, the industry witnessed 3 deaths in Jacksonville, Florida, when a vanquished competitor at a Madden NFL 19 tournament went on a shooting spree. It is no coincidence, incidentally, that the company which owns the title (Electronic Arts) saw its share price drop on the back of the news (see graph above). Nonetheless, the pull of eSports is huge: this year, revenues from the pastime are predicted to hit $906 million.

Arlington mayor Jeff Williams was straightforward in his discussion of why the city wants in on eSports: “The revenue is growing so quickly, and the sport is growing so quickly, that we want to be there at the table and starting that revenue generation as soon as possible.”

Officials say that the stadium will hold as many as 2,000 fans, and also have space for shops, team training areas, a broadcast studio, and a VIP room. Economists are questioning whether viewers will make the journey to these large, public, viewing spaces – but Arlington remains unconcerned. After all, with big names like Activision Blizzard opening stadiums of their own in California and Taipei, the city is in good company.

Disclosure
Dominion holds a number of video game companies, including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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