Teams compete against each other playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive during the Dreamhack Masters e-sports tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A permanent 15,000 square-foot e-sports facility is scheduled to open in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
The 15,000-square-foot e-sports venue will host competitive video game tournaments. It’s part of a trend that the casino industry hopes will attract the millennial crowd, the 15- to 34-year-olds who are becoming majority spenders in today’s economy but aren’t necessarily interested in traditional gambling. Las Vegas needs to consistently reinvent itself to remain relevant to the up-and-coming generation.
Athletes participating in a tournament at the arena will emerge from a tunnel surrounded by roaring crowds in the stands. They will then go on a podium and sit at stations equipped with game consoles, monitors and other equipment.
The venue will open its doors March 3 with a three-day, $50,000-prize-pool Halo World Championship qualifier and host an EA Sports-sanctioned Madden 17 NFL tournament later in March.
eSports currently draws tens of millions of spectators to online platforms and real-world venues, including New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the Los Angeles’ Staples Center and Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, which earlier this month saw 16 of the world’s best CS:GO teams compete. Estimates show 323 million people watched e-sports in 2016. The global audience is expected to grow to 385 million this year