SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) – The Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is considering developing an esports arena in Sandusky.
Leaders with Cedar Fair made the announcement Friday, stating that the potential arena would serve as a beacon for youth and collegiate gamers in the Midwest.
The proposed facility would be able to host esports competitions with 200 gaming stations and space for up to 1,500 spectators. There would also be a food court, a restaurant with an outdoor terrace, a broadcast studio and dorm rooms.
“Our long-term strategy is focused on delivering an immersive entertainment experience that differentiates our parks and makes our park guests want to come back again and again,” said Richard A. Zimmerman, Cedar Fair president and chief executive officer. “The opening of our Cedar Point Sports Center in 2017 was consistent with this strategy and has proved to be enormously popular with amateur sports teams and other large groups. Given the booming popularity of esports, we believe there is an opportunity to tap into the growing appetite for that form of entertainment and package it with all that Cedar Point has to offer.”
The arena would be part of the next phase of development at the approximately $50 million Cedar Point Sports Center.
The company is teaming up with Esports Development Co. LLC to come up with preliminary plans for the arena, which is estimated to cost $28 million.
Global revenue from competitive esports gaming is expected to reach $1.1 billion this year and an audience of about 475 million people.
Cedar Fair officials say the facility could also host concerts, youth camps and STEM program opportunities.
Plans for the project were sent to the Sandusky Planning Commission for review. If development is approved, construction is expected to start by the end of the year with an opening in early 2023.