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Bendix Esports Arena ready for play

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 5:40 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - On Thursday, the City of South Bend will unveil its next big “tourist attraction,” although that’s a title the new Bendix Arena will have to earn over time.

Bendix Arena is among portions of the Century Center that have been remodeled to accommodate esports. More than $1 million has been spent on monitors, stage lighting, PC’s, gaming consoles, and even sneeze guards that stand around each video gaming cubicle.

“It’s just gaming at a higher standard than like any of us have ever, ever, actually done before,” said esports enthusiast Mason Fish.

“These computers are better than mine. I spent a lot of money on mine,” added gamer Ryan Juroff.

The facility has 36 HP Omen PC’S and four different types of gaming consoles.

16 News Now visited the facility on Monday night and found about 20 players mainly from Bethel University and the South Bend Lions competing and practicing.

“It’s going to put this area on the map for esports because there’s no other place that’s like this, especially with the 500 seat arena, really in probably a three hour radius,” said Bethel Director of esports Dan Wort.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday at 11:45 a.m.

The facility will open to the public on Friday at 2 p.m.

At a rate of $6 per hour anyone can play at the LAN (the Local Area Network) and if their game is good enough, they can dream of playing in Bendix Arena itself, which is still under construction.

“We’re engaged in some requests for proposals to host national level tournaments within this space. So, we’re eyeing a couple for October and November. We’re hopeful for the shot to be able to host those here. In South Bend, but then that would draw in hopefully thousands of people in addition to a couple of hundred competitors who would come in and play over a weekend,” said Jeff Jarnecke, Executive Director of Venues for the City of South Bend.

In the meantime, the facility can be rented for birthday parties or corporate events.

It will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 2 p.m. until midnight, and Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m.

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