Council President Pro Tem William Parker Eyes Esports Championships For Legion Field
PRESS RELEASE Thursday, August 1, 2019
Contact: Cody Owens
Following the success of the recent 2019 Fortnite World Cup, Council President Pro Tem William Parker said he is making it a priority to bring future esports championships to Legion Field or other city-owned venues in Birmingham.
Last weekend, two million people tuned in to watch the world championship of the popular online battle royale game that was held in New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium. There was a $30 million prize pool, with the winner, sixteen-year-old Kyle Giersdorf, taking home the $3 million grand prize.
Parker is looking to bring similar esports championship events — that is, online video game competitions — to Birmingham. “It’s a billion-dollar industry,” Parker said. “If you look at how many people tuned in and attended the Fortnite World Cup, it’s abundantly clear there is a huge market for these types of events. You have games like Madden NFL 2020 and Call of Duty that have massive followings. It’s my goal to bring something like this to Birmingham.”
In 2019 alone global esports revenues have risen 27 percent from last year according to a Reuters report. By 2022, revenues could exceed $2 billion annually.
“We have to continue to be creative with how we utilize Legion Field and all our city-owned facilities,” Parker said. “The biggest esports event to date was held at an outdoor stadium. So all I have to say is, ‘Why not Birmingham?’”
Parker said he will be reaching out to various organizations about the possibility of Birmingham hosting a major gaming tournament. More updates will be made on these developments as they become available.