Out of left field comes…

YOU MIGHT HATE THIS, but spectator sports — hockey, football, the olympics — are a diminishing crowd. It’s a major concern for legacy broadcasters (a major source of revenue is drying up); mainstream sporting events aren’t pulling in the audience they once did. And they don’t know what to do about it.

LOL2016WorldsFinalsArena
League of Legends competition event (2016)

With all the talk of building a new arena to replace Calgary’s Saddledome, I was amused, surprised, then intrigued to learn that Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver, has constructed a ‘gaming stadium,’ for e-sports. That’s right e-sports — electronic games you might have thought the kids only play — games that hundreds of millions of people around the world compete in, including professional full-time players.   

The first of its kind in the country, Richmond’s gaming stadium will open next year. And already it’s schedule is packed with “tournaments, major events, and a smattering of other happenings within the e-sports world.” 

E-sports are truly a global, financially lucrative, and highly-competitive enterprise. And it’s caught the attention of the International Olympic Committee. Last fall, 2017, the IOC conceded “competitive ‘esports’ could be considered as a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports.”

Now that’s interesting, yes? Hmmmm–

E-SPORT & TECH COMPETITIVE GAMING

A generation ago, Calgary and Alberta played host to a world of Olympic sports competition. And goodness, we were great! The organization and success of the winter games of ’88 were hard to beat.

Regardless of the outcome of today’s plebiscite in Calgary, there’s enthusiasm for a world class event in our city, our province, and the country. Why not host the first e-sport & tech Olympics in the world?  

Can you imagine the extraordinary benefits after hosting IOC-approved gamers, their trainers, their technology in Calgary?

I’ll tell you more about  e-sports & tech competition in the next post…

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