HOK and SAP Release Report on the Future of Esports Venues

Global design firm HOK and software company SAP have published a new research report exploring the future of e-sports venues.

Over 450 million people will view an e-sports event in 2019, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global sports and entertainment industry. “Developing the Esports Arenas of the Future” explores the factors driving this explosive growth, the unique audience and how the e-sports venue of tomorrow will look very different than traditional sports facilities.

Key design features explored in the report include:

  • A non-traditional seating bowl
  • An immersive environment
  • Reimagined geometries and spatial organization
  • More intimacy
  • A blending of technology with the built environment
  • Hospitality-driven experiences

“Purpose-built venues have historically had a significant impact in establishing a sport in a culture and community,” said Nuno Guerreiro, an architect at HOK and co-author of the report. “Because of the length of these events and technological requirements, e-sports have a unique audience seeking more connected, hands-on experiences. Architects and designers have an opportunity to rethink every aspect of the traditional sports and entertainment environment—from a building’s location and form down to the seat.”

Guerreiro collaborated with Carlos de la Barrera, a senior designer at HOK, and Federico Winer, head of EMEA for Entertainment, to author the report.

“The esports industry is growing faster than any other entertainment segment, with forecasted growth of 35% year-over-year for the next five years. We see endless opportunities for SAP’s technology solutions to influence and impact the experience for the whole value chain, from publishers to organizers to arenas,” said Federico Winer, head of entertainment industries at SAP.

“We are in the era of intelligent enterprises and corporations need to transform data into insights, providing optimal experiences for internal and external stakeholders. These proposed solutions for the future of the esports venues showcase the beginning of how advanced technology, paired with creative built environment solutions, can inspire innovation and digital transformation.”

HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice has expertise in the design of arenas, stadiums, ballparks, training facilities and recreation centers. The group plans and designs world-class sports complexes that are centerpieces of successful, vibrant entertainment districts, communities and campuses. Current and recent projects include FC Barcelona’s New Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona, Spain; Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the State Farm Arena renovation in Atlanta; Yas Arena in Abu Dhabi; Rogers Place and the Ice District in Edmonton, Alberta; Little Caesars Arena in Detroit; and the renovation of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

With offices around the globe, HOK designs buildings and spaces that respond to the needs of people and the environment. HOK designers are rooted in technical excellence, driven by imagination and focused on a solitary goal: to deliver solutions that inspire clients and communities.

Download the report here.

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