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OverActive Media, owner of the Toronto Ultra and Defiant, are building a $500 million arena in Toronto, which the company claims will be ready by 2025.

This venue will have 7,000 seats, include a hotel complex and serve as the home stadium for the company’s Call of Duty League and Overwatch League franchises. The project is the first new entertainment venue built in Toronto since BMO Field in 2007 and is estimated to be ten times more expensive than the $50 million arena being built to house the Philadelphia Fusion.

In the company’s announcement, president and CEO Chris Overholt explained why they committed to such a large project in a press release.

“We are building a world leading, 21st century sports media and entertainment company,” Overholt said. “And this best-in-class performance venue will be the chosen home for a new generation of fans.”

The announcement video stated the venue will host 200 events or more each year. This venue is being built to attract a variety of events both inside and potentially outside the esports industry. OverActive Media said this list includes major conventions, corporate events, product launches, awards shows and esports events, which the company expects will increase over time.

Toronto Defiant arena
Screenshot from OverActive Media

Designing Toronto’s esports arena

Senior principal and lead designer for Populous, Johnathan Mallie, said the arena will look and feel like something new.

“The design of the theatre was neither conceived as a sports arena nor an opera house,” Mallie said. “Rather, a new typology that straddles the two – a state-of-the-art performance venue. The theatre architecture creates a merger of the old and the new.”

Populous has designed famous locations such as Yankee Stadium and the London Olympics.

OverActive Media said they hope to make Toronto a global hub of esports through this arena. According to Overholt, they are already in talks with major esports events to see if they can host in 2025 onwards.