Today, members of Bethel University’s esports team, along with President Gregg A. Chenoweth, Ph.D., celebrated the ribbon cutting of the $1 million Bendix Esports Arena, located in the Century Center in South Bend. The new 6,000 square foot arena features a 36 PC gaming center, Nintendo and Xbox gaming stations and a 600-seat theater capable of hosting regional and national esports events. This space, just about 10 min. from campus, will be home to BU’s co-ed esports team. Chenoweth spoke at the event, sharing Bethel’s heart behind esports.
“Bethel is in, for the math and mission,” he said. “Esports isn’t a fad, with 300 million gamers globally, 7 in 10 of which are in high school. Nor is it mindless, when half of college gamers are STEM majors, an average GPA near 3.5. So, we’re in, but differently — on platforms without gratuitous violence or sexual innuendo and conducting team Bible studies which redeem an industry stereotyped for sloth and crassness.”
From South Bend Venues Parks and Arts:
Bendix Esports Arena Ready for Play
After nearly a year of construction within the Century Center’s Bendix Theater, the much-anticipated Bendix Esports Arena will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 4 at 11:45 a.m. The new 6,000 square foot arena features a 36 PC gaming center, Nintendo and Xbox gaming stations and a 600-seat theater capable of hosting regional and national esports events. South Bend is considered an early adopter to the growing popularity of esports. The billion-dollar industry is an international phenomenon, where competitors face off in popular video games. The space was designed by the esports firm, SimplyNew, and built to specifications by ggCircuit.
“The importance of the $1 million investment into esports by the Hotel Motel Tax Board of St. Joseph County will quickly provide a return on investment in year one of our operation,” said Jeff Jarnecke, Executive Director – Venues for the City of South Bend. “From providing a place to call home for our local gamers to creating a regional, if not national, destination for pros and fans alike, South Bend is innovating at an especially difficult time while investing in something exciting and transformative in our hospitality product offering.”
The new venture also includes partnerships with Bethel University and the South Bend Lions soccer club to utilize the space for practice and competition.
A second phase of construction is scheduled to be underway in late March. The additional $500,000 from the Hotel Motel Tax Board of St. Joseph County will add more amenities and features to the Bendix Esports Arena. Planned enhancements include show lighting, a robust sound system, new truss system, gaming pods and a broadcast studio. Work is expected to be complete in late April.
To learn more about the Bendix Esports Arena, visit bendixarena.com.
Venues Parks & Arts is a department in the City of South Bend that inspires a more livable South Bend for all, connecting people to emotionally engaging experiences and to one another. For more information about Venues Parks & Arts, visit www.sbvpa.org.
Bendix E-Sports Arena Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
February 4, 2021 at 11:45am
Century Center (120 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601)