Kraft Group to open esports arena at Patriot Place
Esports league Boston Uprising and Helix eSports will open an 18,000-square-foot esports complex at Patriot Place in Foxborough this January, marking the first gaming center adjacent to a major professional sporting venue, the Kraft Group said Wednesday.
The Boston Uprising practice facility and Helix eSports gaming center will feature 100 gaming stations with personal computers, gaming and network infrastructure and 30 public gaming consoles open to the public. Kraft Group Overwatch owns and operates Boston Uprising, which is one of 20 esports franchises competing in the Overwatch League — a professional esports league for the team-based multi-player video game Overwatch.
“Esports is a rapidly growing enterprise and we are thrilled to announce this partnership with Helix eSports to bring this one-of-a-kind facility to Patriot Place for gamers across New England,” said Brian Earley, vice president and general manager of Patriot Place, in a statement.
The New York Times earlier this year reported that esports is expected to bring in more than $1 billion in global revenue in 2019. A $10 million Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas opened in 2018, while a 3,500-seat, $50 million Fusion Arena is planned in Philadelphia.
And Boston’s TD Garden hosted the North American League of Legends Championship in 2017, an event that drew 10,000 spectators.
The Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution football and soccer teams, acquired an Overwatch League team in 2017.
“With the Uprising’s move to Boston, we wanted to provide the team with a first-class practice facility and give our fans unprecedented access to their home team,” said Jen Ferron, chief marketing officer for Kraft Sports + Entertainment, in a statement. “This new partnership with Helix eSports will accomplish both of these goals by providing our fans with access to our team and players through onsite events and appearances, while allowing the Uprising to practice from a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Patriot Place.”