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INDIANAPOLIS — Butler University (BU) is surging to the forefront of the collegiate esports world by beginning construction on a state-of-the-art esports park.

“Facility itself will bring in more energy, more students excited about participating in esports,” explains Lee Farquhar, Interim Director at the BU School of Journalism and Creative Media, “Great space to practice, to compete, professionals alongside them to learn the industry.”

The school currently has nine varsity athletes on their collegiate esports team, and hundreds of students on club teams. Butler recently launched an esports minor with a curriculum that spans both the communications school and the business school.

“Courses on production, marketing, event management,” lists Farquhar.

Butler will now expand both their team arena and classroom space into this new project. Their new 7,500 square foot facility will be on Sunset Avenue. It is being designed by Populous, which is the same company that created Camden Yards in Baltimore and Yankee Stadium. They have designed arenas for multiple Olympics and several large esports venues. Their new design at Butler will now have room for fans.

“Sort of a gallery in the middle, and a lot of space being developed with flexibility in mind,” adds Farquhar.

“They will be able to hold competitions, and there is a production studio environment. A food and beverage component will be woven into the space,” details Brian Mirakian, Populous Director of esports Projects for the Americas, “When we designed the space, there’s a live audience that can gather, cheer for home team. Not only are you watching the action on stage, but you are watching the action on a digital screen.”

Construction on the project will begin soon, and the esports park is expected to open for the Fall of 2022.