Chinese internet technology company NetEase has revealed plans to invest more than five billion yuan (US$710 million) on the construction of a new esports park in Shanghai.
The facility, which is planned for the Qingpu District, will include China’s first ‘class-A’ professional esports stadium, which will have room for 5,000 seats. The venue would likely be the home of the company’s Overwatch League (OWL) franchise, the Shanghai Dragons.
The NetEase Esports Park will also house projects related to product design, team development and talent building.
Speaking at the Global Esports Conference in Shanghai, Ding Yingfeng, the president of NetEase’s gaming sector, confirmed that construction on the first phase of the project has already got underway.
The announcement comes after the Shanghai government issued a new set of standards for the construction and operation of esports venues as it looks to capitalise on a market expected to be worth US$3 billion in China by 2020.
The development is the latest project of its kind to be undertaken in China after an esports town was opened last year in the city of Hangzhou. That particular venture aims to have 14 projects up and running by 2022, including an esports academy, a hotel and a hospital.