Butler University will soon begin construction on a dedicated esports and gaming facility. The university first announced plans for the multi-use space, which will be known as the Butler Esports Park, in 2019.

Butler says the venue will provide a hub for the tech community while expanding on its growing presence in esports. The venue will feature high-performance gaming PC’s and consoles, event and coworking spaces, a cafe, office areas, and a studio and production room.

“We strive to be a leader in building a culture of innovation, equity, and operational excellence that supports our students and their learning—both inside and outside of the classroom,” says Dr. Frank Ross, Butler’s vice president for student affairs. “Even through a challenging year due to the pandemic, Butler engaged our students, faculty, and staff through esports in meaningful ways—adding a new academic minor, and pivoting to adapt recruiting, planning, and event executions, as well as creative opportunities for community engagement, to advance our holistic vision for esports.”

The Butler Esports Park has been designed by Populous, an architectural firm known for soccer stadiums, basketball arenas, and training centers.

“It is truly a pleasure to be on the front lines of the esports facilities movement across North America,” said Brian Mirakian, Populous esports director for the Americas. “Esports and gaming are becoming widely accessible to audiences more than ever before. By bringing together gaming, innovation, and a dynamic creator environment, we are setting the stage for a new paradigm for student life and collegiate esports. We’re tremendously excited to integrate this state-of-the-art project into the fabric of the Butler campus.”

When construction is complete, Butler says it expects the first business tenant will be Challonge, a Software-as-a-Service company for esports competition management.

Butler’s College of Communication is also launching an Esports Communication minor that kicks off this fall.