Work starts on $1.5bn esports arena, hotel and virtual skydiving venue in Shanghai

Chinese property company SuperGen Group has broken ground on an esports complex in Shanghai with a total project value of $1.5bn.

The Shanghai International Culture and Creative Esports Centre will be located in a 50ha industrial park in the Minhang District in the south of the city. The plan is to build a 6,000-seat arena that will host around 300 competitive matches a year.

The project will also include a five-star video-game-themed hotel, a breakdancing facility, an indoor skydiving venue and a corporate headquarters for Edward Gaming (EDG), the subsidiary of SuperGen that is developing the park.  

Work is expected to be complete on the $770m first phase of the project by 2023.

A game of Counter Strike: Global Offensive under way at an esports arena in Moscow (Dreamstime)

The estimated total cost of the complex is presently larger than the global market for esports – which was put at $950m in 2020.

However, SportsGen is betting that demand – which stagnated last year – will grow rapidly in the post-Covid period.

There is no shortage of potential consumers: around 720 million people are thought to play video games in China. Around 70% of these are esports players, making up around 20% of the global market.

Image: SuperGen’s rendering of the Shanghai complex

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