Calling all gamers: Simon to open 13,000-sq. ft. esports venue
A fast-growing sporting activity watched and played around the world is putting down roots in the largest shopping destination in the Southeast.
Simon and Allied Esports, an esports entertainment company, announced that Mall of Georgia, in Buford, Ga., will be the location for the companies’ first dedicated esports venue as part of its previously announced strategic alliance. The two-level, 13,000-sq.-ft. facility will be a gaming and esports destination for players and community members of all levels and will feature regular amateur and professional esports tournaments and events across a variety of games and genres.
Esports, which involve live video game competitions, are growing at a breakneck pace. Estimates put the industry at $1.5 billion.
The venue at Mall of Georgia will have full broadcast and streaming production capabilities. It will also feature PCs and consoles for daily use, full food and beverage options, experiential retail and more. The redevelopment of the current retail space is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2020, with an opening of the venue planned for the second half of the year.
Allied Esports and Simon announced a strategic alliance in June 2019 in which the two companies entered into a partnership to open dedicated esports venues at Simon centers around the country. They also agreed to create a co-produced national amateur esports tournament — the Simon Cup – featuring online competition and in-person events. The venue at Mall of Georgia, as well as additional future locations at Simon properties around the country, will become key components of the competition moving forward.
“We’ve long felt that the gaming and esports communities in the Southeast, especially the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, are vibrant and growing and believe we have a location at Mall of Georgia that will serve as a dynamic hub for esports experiences in the region,” said Jud Hannigan, CEO of Allied Esports. “We’re excited to launch this first-of-its-kind on-mall venue and continue to develop and expand on this new concept for additional Simon destinations.”
Allied Esports runs a network of esports leagues, tournaments, and events across the world, and manages 11 arenas in the U.S., China, and Europe either directly or through affiliate partnerships.