CARROLLTON, Texas — In another sign that esports are continuing to grow in North Texas, the City of Carrollton is now getting involved in the gaming sphere.
The city announced on Monday it is adding esports to its Parks and Recreation program and is even creating a dedicated space where residents can come together to play.
The city said the Parks and Rec department is working with esports organization BearClaw in opening a gaming facility at the Crosby Recreation Center, where residents can play, socialize and participate in leagues and tournaments.
"We have to provide something that people can’t get at their own home. So that’s where the concept of an esports center started," Carrollton recreation manager Heather Smith told WFAA.
According to the city, residents will be able to compete in some of the most popular video games from Call of Duty to Fortnite to Minecraft. The new esports center will have 20 stations set up with PCs for open play and tournaments.
Smith said the idea for the esports program began years ago.
"Hearing more and more people interested in esports, gaming," Smith said. "... A couple of years ago we requested some additional funds from city council to start a program. Do a couple of a leagues, that sort of stuff."
"As we started calling around to some other municipalities, we realized this isn’t really being done in the municipal parks and rec world right now," Smith added.
Smith told WFAA the esports facility will be staffed by BearClaw and that residents will be able to sign up for one-on-one coaching with professionals from that organization once the program is up and running.
Although no date has been announced for the facility's opening, Smith said they are targeting the summer.
"We felt that by creating this center it gets [residents] into a social atmosphere where people are together. They can do some more socializing and try to improve mental health when it comes to gaming, as well," Smith said.