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Populous unveils plans and visuals for esports arena in Toronto

Populous and OverActive Media have unveiled plans and visuals for a multi-purpose performance and esports arena heading to Toronto in 2025.

populous esports stadium toronto canada

The $500m performance venue, which will host music concerts, plays and esports competitions, is scheduled to complete in 2025.

It includes a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex. It will be the first new sports or entertainment venue in Toronto since BMO Field launched in 2007.

Located in the CNE Grounds, the purpose-built venue will become an epicentre for esports, media and entertainment. The building was conceived by design firm Populous.

“Today is another important step in the evolution of OverActive Media,” said Chris Overholt, president and CEO of OverActive Media.

$500m esports venue completing in 2025

populous esports stadium toronto canada

“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.”

The facility will host more than 200 events annually, including conventions, corporate events, product launches, award shows and esports events.

OverActive Media owns four major global esport franchises, including Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League.

“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,” said Overholt.

Entertainment venue and hotel complex in Toronto

populous esports stadium toronto canada

“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.”

Jonathan Mallie, lead designer for Populous, said: “The design of the theatre was neither conceived as a sports arena nor an opera house, rather, a new typology that straddles the two – a state-of-the-art performance venue.”

Elsewhere, Linkcity is creating a mixed-use development featuring the ‘Scène Digitale’ esports hub in Thiais, an area close to Orly Airport in Paris, France.

Elsewhere, SuperGen Group has broken ground on the $1.5bn Shanghai International Culture and Creative Esports Centre in Minhang, Shanghai.

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Bea Mitchell

A journalist specialising in entertainment and attractions, Bea loves theme parks (mainly Disney) and is particularly interested in things of a gothic, horror or fantasy nature.

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