• New esports arena coming to Jacksonville

    By: Christy Turner , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If you're an avid gamer, ACE Arena could be the spot for you.

    The massive 22,500-square-foot gamer's paradise in Mandarin will cater to competitive and casual gaming.


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    Located on San Jose Boulevard, ACE Arena is set to open in mid-to late November. 

    It will be the largest dedicated electronic sports, or esports, facility in Florida, and the first of its kind on the First Coast.

    "People ask, 'Why would someone go out to a place to play video games when they can play at home?'" founder and CEO John Sarmie said in a press release. "We ask the same question about those who go to bars or concerts. They can drink or listen to music at home, but they still go out to socialize with friends. The esports and gaming community is no different. Gamers like to high-five and fist-bump in real life."

    The venue will have over 120 gaming systems, four private training or party rooms, 20 digital displays to cycle content and showcase sponsors, a stage with a video projection wall for live entertainment, and a large open lounge to hang out, play board games, host meetings, and more.

    "In addition to esports, we plan to use the space for education, training, and camps; as well as co-working, corporate meet-ups, and community events," Sarmie said in the news release. 

    According to Newzoo, a gaming industry analytics firm, 2019 marks a major milestone for the global esports market, which will for the first time top the billion-dollar revenue mark.

    Newzoo predicts revenues will reach $1.1 billion this year, a year-on-year growth of nearly 27%.

    Sarmie said he's working with organizations to host tournaments and he hopes to attract gamers from around the country.

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