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Full Sail University to build $6M esports arena
Full Sail University will expand its esports footprint with a new $6 million arena.

The Winter Park university will build a 11,200-square-foot arena called "The Fortress" with room for 500 spectators in what used to be a soundstage. The space will be one of the largest of its kind on a college campus when completed.

“We are excited about these additions to our campus as we continue to strive to make Full Sail the premier destination for students who want to pursue careers in gaming and the various aspects of the live events industry; ranging from the business aspects of sports management, and the IT behind synchronized gaming within esports, to shoutcasting, live production, game creation, entertainment business and more," Full Sail University COO Ken Goldstone said in a prepared statement. "In addition, these efforts support a leading global destination for students who want to participate in the esports lifestyle as part of their college experience, be it as a top competitive player, a casual player, or a social follower and fan of esports.”

A practice facility also will be outfitted with new technology for Full Sail's esports team, which is nicknamed the Armada. That facility will be separate from the arena and take up a small portion of the $6 million in capital invested, according to Full Sail spokeswoman Casey Tanous.

Full Sail began the design and planning for the project in 2017, breaking ground at the beginning of summer 2018. The project is projected to be completed by early 2019. Blankenship Architects Inc. of Maitland is the architect, while Orlando-based Lamm & Co. Partners is the general contractor.

The university previously has hosted gaming tournament events, including Major League Gaming (MLG) Fall Invitational in 2013, as well as the MLG Call of Duty U.S. Championship and the Madden NFL 15 Ultimate Team Championship Featuring NFL Quarterback Cam Newton in 2014.

Esports is a growing facet of the live entertainment industry and Orlando is beginning to see more events come to the city. Orlando last year hosted its first Call of Duty World League Championship — considered the Super Bowl of video game events — at the Amway Center.

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