The opening date for Dundee esports arena will be later than planned but “worth the wait”, according to the man spearheading the project.
That’s the message from Luc Delany, chief operating officer of Northern Lights Arena Europe (NLAE), the company behind the plans for the venue.
Subject to planning permission, the multi-purpose arena at Dundee Waterfront will have between 3,500 and 4,000 seats.
It will be able to host live music concerts, comedians and conferences as well as esports events.
The estimated cost of the build is between £40 million and £60m.
It was initially hoped the arena would open in 2024. But NLAE now believes it needs three years to complete the complicated project.
New date for Dundee esports arena
Mr Delany, who will speak at a Courier event next month, said the finished result will be nothing short of “phenomenal”.
He said: “We were hoping to be open in 2024 but that is going to slip to 2025.
“It’s simply because what we are doing is quite new and complicated. This is not just a box with some seats.
“We are creating a venue that is designed to have the very best streaming infrastructure.
“We are working with global technology partners to make this happen.”
The venue will have digital connectivity at its heart with the ability to live stream – broadcast content in real time over the internet – every event.
Not only is this crucial for competitive gaming events, it is also fundamental to livestreaming music concerts – an increasingly lucrative revenue stream for artists.
Venue could attract global stars
By creating world class streaming facilities, there is a potential for global music stars to include Dundee as part of their tours as the place for virtual shows.
“We are speaking with the major ticketing companies and promotors,” Mr Delany said.
“Major artists like Ariana Grande, Adele or Billie Eilish normally perform to tens of thousands of people.
“But sometimes the live experience in these big venues isn’t that great and don’t make for great broadcasting or streaming either. You need something more intimate.
“We are hoping major artists will add Dundee to their tour for the livestream capabilities.”
Mr Delany will speak at a free virtual Courier Business Briefing on March 2.
Next steps for Dundee esports arena
The next steps for the esports arena project is publishing an impact assessment of the economic benefits to the city.
Talks are on-going with the Scottish Government, UK Government and Dundee City Council about the “financial structure” of the project.
The first stage of the planning process could begin in a matter of months.
Abertay University intends to develop a new range of degree courses related to the esports job market.
Students will gain access to bespoke facilities within the arena complex.
Mr Delany said: “We want to come to Dundee because of the city’s history of gaming and the digital sector is already there.
“The Waterfront site is phenomenal.
“The venue will create millions of hours of content viewed by people around the world and so Dundee will get more of a profile.
“Having the facility in the centre of Dundee we hope will be a catalyst for innovation.
“As the attractiveness of Dundee increases for gaming talent then businesses will want to go where the talent is. It’s going to be fantastic.”
To register for the Courier Business Briefing, go to thecourierbriefings.co.uk