MSE esports-centric premier venue plans


District E of Monumental and Ticketmaster Image: Monumental Sports and Entertainment

The Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced its plans on January 26th for ‘District E Powered by Ticketmaster’, a premier, nearly 14,000-square-foot live-event theater offering a 365-day-a-year series of immersive experiences in esports, music, event programing, and community events – along with pre- and post-event activations for fans attending the National Hockey League (NHL) team Washington Capitals and the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Washington Wizards (US) games or events.

The ‘Monumental Sports & Entertainment’ stated that this space will entertain hundreds for independent events, offer an extraordinary culinary experience and is conveniently located adjacent to the Capital One Arena at Gallery Place in downtown Washington D.C., (US). The venue will also create a best-in-class competition and training venue for the MSE esports franchises which it owns, operates and invests in, including Wizards District Gaming and Caps Gaming – part of the comprehensive, multipurpose facility is MedStar Wizards District Gaming Studio – as well as serving as a catalyst to foster the amateur gaming community in the Greater Washington Metropolitan region. Additionally, it will establish an East Coast satellite office for global esports powerhouse Team Liquid. Further, it will attract the growing influencer streaming community through its state-of-the-art streaming pods.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment is America’s leading sports and entertainment family. Its people, players, teams, and events bring excitement and joy to millions. They invest and innovate to consistently raise the game so that they can deliver extraordinary experiences that will inspire and unite the community, fans and the people.

Team Liquid was founded in 2000 in the Netherlands and has evolved into one of the leading international multigame esports teams with training centers in Utrecht (Netherlands), São Paulo (Brazil) and Los Angeles (California, US). Team Liquid has about 100 athletes competing across 15 distinct games, including all major esports titles, such as VALORANT, Rocket League, DOTA 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, Fortnite, Rainbow 6: Siege, and more. Led by Co-CEOs Steve Arhancet and Victor Goossens, Team Liquid is one of the most successful esports teams in the Western market in terms of competitive achievement and fan engagement across multiple sports.

The 20,356 capacity Capital One Arena is an indoor arena in Washington, D.C. Located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, the arena sits atop the Gallery Place rapid transit station of the Washington Metro. It serves as the digs of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards.

Offered Zach Leonsis, President of Media & New Enterprises, “We are excited to invest in this first-of-its-kind venue for esports and other immersive experiences and know it will quickly become the preferred destination for pre- and post-event attendees with one-of-a-kind programing and food and beverage offerings. And given the rapid rise in the popularity of esports and the growing audience for gaming in general, we believe the time is right to build an esports-centric venue that serves as a rallying point for the gaming community in the Mid-Atlantic. The wide-scale, international appeal of esports brands is well documented.”

Added Leonsis, “We believe that developing deep, grassroots-level connections within our local community is the natural next step for esports as the genre develops into a major league aside other traditional sports. We are so proud to build a best-in-class esports venue featuring our globally recognized esports team, Team Liquid, our back-to-back NBA 2K League Champion, Wizards District Gaming, our leading Caps Gaming NHL initiative, and much more to come in the future.”

The ‘Monumental Sports & Entertainment’ further stated that the Monumental Sports was an early investor in esports and has rapidly grown its esports portfolio over the past several years. Starting with an initial, sizable investment in esports ownership group, aXiomatic, in 2016, MSE has since expanded its efforts in esports to include the NBA 2K League’s Wizards District Gaming, a franchise that just won back-to-back NBA 2K League championships, and Caps Gaming, a leading esports sub-brand in the NHL. Through its equity ownership in aXiomatic, MSE also owns equity in Team Liquid, Epic Games, Niantic, Dapper Labs, and Nifty Games, among other gaming investments.

MSE’s Chairman, Founder and CEO, Ted Leonsis, represents Monumental Sports on the board of aXiomatic and Zach Leonsis represents Monumental Sports on the board of Team Liquid. Zach Leonsis also sits on the Executive Committee of the NBA 2K League.

Maintained Steve Arhancet, Co-CEO and Owner of Team Liquid, “MSE has been an incredible partner to Team Liquid over the years and the development of District E is an initiative that I believe truly elevates the fan experience and helps connect us with more fans than ever before. Having lived in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) for a number of years, it’s an honor for me to reconnect with the local community and I am looking forward to working alongside and supporting our local organizations, universities and athletes to bring together fans across Northern Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. by providing them with a genuine and unique esports experience.”

Centrally located in the historic Chinatown neighborhood of downtown Washington D.C., District E Powered by Ticketmaster, will be located adjacent to the Capital One Arena. With more than three million annual attendees coming to Capital One Arena for professional sporting events, live concerts and other performances, District E Powered by Ticketmaster will also plan to host Capitals, Wizards and other fans for pre- and post-game events to enhance the gameday experience.

District E Powered by Ticketmaster, also contemplates additional programing including its own shows, viewing parties, corporate events, and other programs that will drive additional visitors downtown for unique, immersive experiences.

Said Marla Ostroff, Ticketmaster Managing Director – North America, “The team at Monumental is always on the cutting-edge, adopting the latest technology and setting trends for live event experiences. District E Powered by Ticketmaster is an innovative and exciting concept that explores a whole new realm of live entertainment experiences. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Monumental in bringing District E to life.”

The design of District E Powered by Ticketmaster, is intentionally welcoming, inviting passersby to peer into the gaming venue and learn more about the energy and enthusiasm of esports.

Three of the main components of the space include:

  • An Esports Competition Studio: A public-facing, 150+ person venue expected to host over 200 events per year;
  • An unparalleled Food and Beverage Experience: MSE is partnering with Aramark to operate a restaurant and bar experience that will support events hosted throughout the year; and
  • An Esports Practice Center: A best-in-class, private team practice facility, officially ‘MedStar Wizards District Gaming Studio’, with streaming pods for Wizards District Gaming, Caps Gaming, Team Liquid, and more.

Said Alison Birdwell, President and CEO of Aramark Sports and Entertainment, “We are honored to expand our partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment by developing a first-class hospitality experience for fans to enjoy at District E Powered by Ticketmaster. As Aramark’s first foray into the rapidly-growing esports space, this is an exciting opportunity to showcase our expertise in food and beverage innovation to esports fans while also creating jobs and further building Aramark’s presence in the Greater Washington Metropolitan region.”

Philadelphia (US)-based Aramark proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world with food, facilities and uniform services.

West Hollywood (California)-based Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket marketplace and the global market leader in live event ticketing products and services. Through official partnerships with thousands of venues, artistes, sports teams, festivals, performing arts centers and theaters, Ticketmaster processes 500 million tickets per year across 30+ different countries. Ticketmaster is a part of Live Nation Entertainment.

The entire feel of District E Powered by Ticketmaster is modern, technology-forward and cutting-edge, with esports and traditional sports iconography adorning the broad sweeps of open space across the pavilion. More than 1,000 square feet of LED lights and bars hug the ceilings, and large, crisp screens hang along the walls of the food and beverage experience as well as the competition studio and training facility. Sleek, comfortable furniture is housed throughout – enticing new and die-hard esports fans to watch elite world gamers and amateurs alike.

Commented Chris Mundy, US Head of Office at Oxford Properties, “District E Powered by Ticketmaster is exactly the type of innovative, experiential retail concept we’re looking to attract at Gallery Place, and we’re delighted that Monumental Sports has chosen to partner with us on their exciting new esports initiative. This announcement is a testament to the strength and viability of a centrally located asset like Gallery Place, and we know its ongoing repositioning will continue to attract a similar caliber of occupant at the cutting-edge of entertainment, sports and retail.”

Stated Zach Boroson of JLL, “At this size and scale, District E Powered by Ticketmaster will be the first-of-its-kind in the D.C. region and a gamechanger. The real estate market rebound has shown that we will see innovative and alternative uses for both office and retail spaces across the City and the new District E Powered by Ticketmaster is exactly that. By activating these spaces in such a unique and forward-thinking way, Monumental Sports & Entertainment is truly solidifying its leadership in the esports industry.”

District E Powered by Ticketmaster has a targeted delivery for Fall 2022. Architecture, Incorporated is responsible for architecture and interiors, construction is led by KBR Corporation and the property is owned and managed by Oxford Properties Group. Monumental Sports was represented by Zach Boroson and Andy O’Brien of JLL. Creative agency 4040 Agency designed the brand and logo for the enterprise. Additional details on partners and programing will be announced in the Spring and Summer of 2022.

JLL is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for its clients, its people and its communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion in 2020, and operations in over 80 countries.

Oxford Properties Group is a leading global real estate investor, asset manager and business builder. It builds, buys and grows defined real estate operating business with world-class management teams. Established in 1960, Oxford and its portfolio companies manage approximately C$80 billion of assets across four continents on behalf of their investment partners.

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