The Busan Esports Arena officially opened in Seomyeon, the commercial center in Busan, South Korea, on Wednesday. The venue was officially announced in March 2019 by Busan Metropolitan City in cooperation with South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency.
The esports arena features a main arena, two sub-arenas and areas for players, staff, and viewers. The main arena, built on the floors 15 and 16 of the Piesta building, features 330 regular seats, 30 sports bar seats, and eight VIP suites.
The venue is relatively small compared to U.S. counterparts such as Esports Stadium Arlington, which can support up to 2,500 spectators; the Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California, which can seat up to 600 people; or HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, which has a standing room capacity of around 1,000.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the city of Busan each invested 3B Won ($2.7M USD) in the project, according to The Korea Herald. A spokesperson for the Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency told the publication that broadcasting equipment costs, a chief concern for some local politicians, were kept low through equipment sponsorships and “industry expert” advice, with the end result being a system capable of streaming in 4K definition despite a smaller budget.
The Busan venue came to fruition thanks to a push in 2018 to create more esports arenas outside of Seoul, where a majority of the major esports events that take place in the country are typically held.