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Research report “Developing the Esports Arenas of the Future” released

Global design firm, HOK, and software company, SAP, have published a new research report entitled “Developing the Esports Arenas of the Future” exploring the future of e-sports venues. 


Over 450 million people will view an e-sports event in 2019, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global sports and entertainment industry.


Developing the Esports Arenas of the Future” explores the factors driving this explosive growth, the unique audience and how the e-sports venue of tomorrow will look very different than traditional sports facilities. 


Key design features explored in the report include:


  • A non-traditional seating bowl
  • An immersive environment
  • Reimagined geometries and spatial organisation
  • More intimacy
  • A blending of technology with the built environment
  • Hospitality-driven experiences


Esports Concourse Experiences. Credit: HOK / SAP


Nuno Guerreiro, Senior Associate at HOK and co-author of the report, said:

Purpose-built venues have historically had a significant impact in establishing a sport in a culture and community. Because of the length of these events and technological requirements, esports have a unique audience seeking more connected, hands-on experiences. Architects and designers have an opportunity to rethink every aspect of the traditional sports and entertainment environment—from a building’s location and form down to the seat.


Guerreiro collaborated with Carlos de la Barrera, a senior designer and Senior Associate at HOK, and Federico Winer, Head of Entertainment Industries – EMEA at SAP, to author the report.


Federico Winer, Head of Entertainment Industries – EMEA at SAP, said:

The esports industry is growing faster than any other entertainment segment, with forecasted growth of 35% year-over-year for the next five years. We see endless opportunities for SAP’s technology solutions to influence and impact the experience for the whole value chain, from publishers to organisers to arenas. We are in the era of intelligent enterprises and corporations need to transform data into insights, providing optimal experiences for internal and external stakeholders. These proposed solutions for the future of the esports venues showcase the beginning of how advanced technology, paired with creative built environment solutions, can inspire innovation and digital transformation.


Make sure to download your own personal PDF copy of the white paper, online at:



Esports Seating bowl section. Credit: HOK / SAP


Main image (top): Esports Multi-Level Display


Images, courtesy: HOK / SAP


About HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice

HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice has expertise in the design of arenas, stadiums, ballparks, training facilities and recreation centres. The group plans and designs world-class sports complexes that are centrepieces of successful, vibrant entertainment districts, communities and campuses.


Current and recent projects include FC Barcelona’s New Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona, Spain; Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the State Farm Arena renovation in Atlanta; Yas Arena in Abu Dhabi; Rogers Place and the Ice District in Edmonton, Alberta; Little Caesars Arena in Detroit; and the renovation of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. 


With offices around the globe, HOK designs buildings and spaces that respond to the needs of people and the environment. HOK designers are rooted in technical excellence, driven by imagination and focused on a solitary goal: to deliver solutions that inspire clients and communities. 


About SAP

SAP’s mission is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. The company’s promise is to innovate to help its customers run at their best. SAP is committed to helping every customer become a best-run business. It engineers solutions to fuel innovation, foster equality, and spread opportunity across borders and cultures. Together, with customers and partners, SAP can transform industries, grow economies, lift up societies and sustain the environment.


To find out more about the latest technologies, designs, services and offerings increasing revenues at sports & entertainment venues, visit ALSD International, Europe’s one and only event dedicated to the Premium Seat & Hospitality sector.





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