Edmonton could become an esports hub with Rogers Place as the venue

Apr 11 2023, 9:35 pm

The City of Edmonton could soon become a hub for esports, with Rogers Place as its premier venue.

During a city council meeting on April 4th, Ward Nakota Isga councillor Andrew Knack proposed a motion to have the city review the Alberta Esports Strategy and work with groups to create a plan to host mid-sized esports events in the city, with the goal of eventually hosting large-scale events.

The Alberta Esports Strategy, released in November 2022, aims to position Alberta as a prominent esports hub. The document acknowledges the province’s already vibrant grassroots esports community, with weekly gaming tournaments that boast some of the strongest attendance in the country.

Esports is a rapidly growing industry that now rivals major traditional sports; in 2019, viewership of the League of Legends Finals surpassed the Super Bowl, with nearly 100 million viewers.

“I think Edmonton has the capability of being the esports leader in this country, if not North America,” said Knack, highlighting one of the city’s advantages — Rogers Place, which the city has access to for 28 days a year. “That is a facility that can actually host esports events. It was built with some of that in mind.”

Not only would the city benefit from becoming a hub for this booming industry, but it would also positively impact the tourism and technology industries and draw more young people to the province—particularly millennials and Gen Z, who make up the core audience for the esports industry.

Following a council vote, the city decided it would partner with groups to plan events.

Check out the Alberta Esports Strategy here.

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