If everything goes according to plan, Toronto’s sports team will in a few years get a futuristic new home. Today, Overactive Media is the ownership group behind the Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League and Duty calls League’s Toronto Ultra – announced plans for a new 7,000-seat venue in the city, designed to host both competitive games and other events such as concerts. The venue is expected to cost around $ 500 million to build and open in 2025.
The new arena will be located at Exhibition Place in Toronto, which is also home to BMO Field, where the football club Toronto FC plays. It is designed by Populous, the prolific architectural firm behind recent projects such as Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “The design of the theater was not intended as a sports arena or an opera house, but rather as a new typology that spans the two: a state-of-the-art venue,”
The planned venue is far from the first sports arena – among other existing arenas, The Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion is also planning a smaller home base – but that points to an ongoing trend. Organizations and leagues are looking for new ways to make money, spreading their efforts beyond just professional teams, usually through avenues such as clothing and content.
But a place like this represents something more ambitious. While sports teams will be the anchor, much like a traditional sports arena, the goal is to keep the building packed at night. Overactive says it plans to host over 200 events a year, and apart from esports and concerts, it is expected to include “major city conventions, corporate events and product launches and price exhibitions.” Meanwhile, the company also says it is “already in active discussions to attract some of the largest sporting events in the world.”