INDIANAPOLIS - Butler University in Indianapolis is the latest Hoosier institution to bring esports to its campus. The university is creating a dedicated gaming space that will be available to not just students, but gamers throughout Indianapolis as well. Eric Kammeyer, director of esports and gaming technology for Butler, says the university's esports presence will also create a benefit for new venture startups.

Kammeyer discussed the effort an a recent interview with Inside INdiana Business sports contributor Bill Benner.

"We're focusing on three different pillars: on the competition and providing for what we're already doing in the Big East and also non-conference play, but then also focusing on the curricular side of things. So we have faculty that are involved in everything that has to do with esports from production and sports media and broadcasting components, as well as gamifying curriculum and so we want to be able to provide for that. But (we're) very much more focused, too, on the community."

Kammeyer says that last area of focus includes strategically locating the new esports space near Hinkle Fieldhouse, the university's health and recreation complex, as well as the performing arts center. First announced last month, the Butler Esports and Gaming Lounge is set to open soon with 16 gaming PCs, as well as areas for console gaming and tabletop gaming.

The university plans to next year open an even larger space in the Butler Parking Garage that will feature 50 gaming PCs, as well as room for technology-infused corporate trainings and events or youth STEM and esports camps. Butler says the 7,500-square-foot facility will have broadcasting production capabilities for live events, a coworking space, cafe, and small office space available for lease.

"We're trying to activate that space and allow it to be multi-faceted for those community partners in sports and technology," said Kammeyer.

Butler has been competing in esports in the Big East Conference for the past two years and Kammeyer says the university presidents have entered into a three-year commitment in order to create a framework around esports. 

Kammeyer says he believes universities and high schools will have the opportunity to align esports with traditional sports.