Esports organization OverActive Media has unveiled plans to build a new 7,000-seater esports and entertainment venue at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada.
The new venue, which is slated for completion in 2025, will serve as the home for OverActive Media’s Call of Duty League (CDL) and Overwatch League (OWL) franchises, Toronto Ultra and Toronto Defiant. Expected to cost nearly US$500 million, it will also include a ‘theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex’.
The project will be the first new sports or entertainment venue built in Toronto since BMO Field, home of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Toronto FC, in 2007.
Reports of the planned venue, which will be one of the largest esports-specific arenas in North America, first emerged last July.
The facility plans to host more than 200 events a year, driven primarily by premium music and entertainment bookings. As well as a full slate of esports events, it will also look to attract major city-wide conventions, corporate events, product launches and awards shows.
OverActive Media added that the wider vision for the arena is to help elevate Toronto and Canada as a destination of choice for the global esports and gaming industry.
The facility was conceived by design firm Populous, which previously worked on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the 2012 London Olympic Stadium and the Arizona Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium.
“Today is another important step in the evolution of OverActive Media. We are building a world leading, 21st century sports media and entertainment company and this best-in-class performance venue will be the chosen home for a new generation of fans that think differently about their entertainment choices and experiences,” said Chris Overholt, OverActive's president and chief executive.
“It has always been our intention to develop a venue and hosting strategy and to build a facility that could not only serve as an iconic home for our two franchises, but ultimately emerge as a global hub for major international esport events. We are already in active discussions to attract some of the biggest esport events in the world. This venue will redefine Toronto’s event hosting opportunities in every way.
“Our vision on this project from day one has been to combine a premium concert and live events program with world leading technology and best in class hospitality. We will create an unparalleled experience for our fans while being a low net cost producer to our entertainment partners and artists. A landmark experience and venue for a world class city that defines a new future.”