$30M Chicago esports arena approved by Council for Bronzeville

Surge Esports Stadium will be close to McCormick Place

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, March 25, 2021
$30M Chicago esports stadium approved, will go near McCormick Place
A $30M esports arena has been approved for Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood. It will be located close to McCormick Place.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago City Council approved a new $30 million arena Wednesday in Bronzeville.

The venue would be used for esports and virtual reality, where professional video game players would be able to compete.

The proposed building would occupy more than 100,000 square feet, and it would be able to host more than 1,000 people.

RELATED: Illinois Institute of Technology adds more esports scholarships as coronavirus pandemic jumpstarts interest

The coronavirus pandemic has jumpstarted interest in esports and the Illinois Institute of Technology has noticed.

"Surge" Esports Stadium would be located in the 2500-block of South Wabash Avenue at McCormick Square, near McCormick Place.

The proposal for the arena was put in front of the Chicago Plan Commission by a company called Smash Interactive.

RELATED: $30M Chicago esports arena being considered for Near South Side

Alderman Pat Dowell, who is credited with helping lure more tourists to the area, said she hopes construction will get underway sometime this year.

The Chicago Park District's first esports tournament took place in December.

The COVID-19 pandemic has jumpstarted interest in esports.