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Vindex To Open Hundreds Of Esports Gaming Centers Across The U.S., Starting With Houston

Belong Gaming Arenas is expanding into the U.S. market, starting with Houston.

Global esports and technology company Vindex is entering the U.S. market, with plans to open as many as 500 experiential gaming centers across the country over the next five years, starting with Houston this summer.

Vindex’s subsidiary, Belong Gaming Arenas, already operates 25 arenas in the U.K. To kick off its U.S. expansion, the firm will open its Houston location in July, while additional venues have been planned for Dallas, Columbus, Ohio, Chicago and Nashville, Tennessee, in the coming months. 

The announcement reflects esports’ growing global momentum. The esports industry was valued at $1.1B in 2021, and global revenue is expected to reach $1.6B by 2024, according to Statista. The worldwide esports audience is estimated to be 474 million people this year.

Each location will offer daily competitive programming, fan engagement opportunities and practice space for local professional and amateur esports teams. Beginning in the fall, community members will represent their hometown Belong teams in inter-arena competition against teams from cities across the U.S. and the U.K. 

Forthcoming partnerships with local brands, high schools, universities, professional esports teams and more will ensure locations are uniquely tailored to each city's identity, the firm said.

Kicking off Belong’s U.S. expansion in Houston could significantly boost the popularity of esports in the city. Unlike other Texas cities, Houston has lacked visible esports investment in the past, despite having a professional team, the Houston Outlaws, and multiple collegiate-level teams at local universities.

The first location in Houston will be 4K SF and is scheduled to open next month at 11200 Broadway St. in Pearland Town Center. Cushman & Wakefield assisted Vindex with site selection, lease negotiation and consulting.