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This Esports Arena Project In An Abandoned Building Illustrates AV’s Opportunity

A vacant theater in Worcester, Mass. is slated to become an esports arena after a $94 million project. AV integrators should be licking their chops.

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This Esports Arena Project In An Abandoned Building Illustrates AV’s Opportunity

A rendering of an esports arena in the Worcester Memorial Auditorium. [Courtesy of Lamoureux Pagano Associates]

An 86-year-old building in Worcester, Mass. vacant for two decades is currently undergoing a lengthy process that could eventually see the 100,000-square-foot building be renovated into an esports arena and IMAX-style theater.

A Boston-based historical preservation firm has agreed to buy the Worcester Memorial Auditorium and do the renovation work, which includes creating a cutting-edge center for interactive media, technology and visual arts.

Becker College, a private college in Worcester that boasts an active esports programs (and esports varsity teams), is signed on as a partner in the $94 million project.

Why am I telling you this, other than the fact that I used to work for a business magazine in Worcester and covered this project from the start?

Answer: esports has the potential to be a gigantic market for the AV industry.

Just look at the rendering of the completed arena space. It’s complete with pro AV trademarks: huge screens, sound systems, lighting and other components.

Read More: Understanding the eSports Technology Opportunity

The firm that is set to purchase the building for $450,000, Architectural Heritage Foundation, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday and did not say if it would be working with an AV integrator.

The company and city signed a deal last week that allows AHF to begin the design phase of the project.

According to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, esports is growing at an annual clip of 18.3% after hitting $118 billion in 2018.

Just look at the rendering of the completed arena space. It’s complete with pro AV trademarks: huge screens, sound systems, lighting and other components.

“The AV set-up is a valuable piece of any esports event,” said AV integration firm IVCi.

That includes computer set-up, giant display screens, interactive content displays, audio systems and live streaming equipment, the firm said in an October release.

“The AV involved in pulling off these huge esports events is highly complex; everything needs to be in sync, wired properly, and on the same settings, all while considering the live-streaming portion and between-game mashups of highlights to keep the audience engaged,” IVCi said.

“There’s so much technological potential in esports and the AV industry is the main provider of the experience.”

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