Planned Toronto Esports Arena Has 7,000 Seats and Looks Wild

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The world of Toronto esports is getting a big makeover. A new $500 million entertainment venue, with seating for up to 7,000 fans, is currently being planned for a 2025 opening.

OverActive Media, owners of the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant and Call of Duty League’s Toronto Ultra, announced plans for the new venue on Monday. The currently unnamed venue, which will be located on a four-acre plot north of Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto’s 192-acre Exhibition Place grounds, will be the first sports or entertainment venue built in the city since the construction of BMO Field in 2007.

OverActive Media says the facility plans to host more than 200 events each year, mostly entertainment and music bookings, while also facilitating conventions, corporate events, awards shows, and esports competitions. The venue will serve as the home of both Toronto Defiant and Toronto Ultra, but OverActive hopes it will draw in other esports organizations and teams as well.

“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,” OverActive president and CEO Chris Overholt said in a statement. “We are already in active discussions to attract some of the biggest esport events in the world.”

The venue is being designed by Populous, a design firm responsible for work on events such as the London Olympics, the Super Bowl, and Yankee Stadium.

The plan for the venue is still in early stages, however. Toronto’s City Council and Exhibition Place board of governors have yet to give final approval on the proposal.

“We are in the final stages of putting our business terms together with city officials and we are optimistic that we can soon wrap up our discussions to everyone’s satisfaction,” an OverActive spokesman told the Toronto Star.

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