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2 hours ago, westsider28 said:

More info in this H-J article about possible plans for an e-sports arena.  Conventions Sports and Leisure International (CSL) is now compiling the public survey results.  OneSpartanburg tourism chief says the feedback he's heard so far "has been very supportive" which I think is a stretch, based on what I've seen here and on social media.  Mostly negative with some neutral is the feedback I've seen.  Seems a bit like the decision has already been made by the "powers that be" and the public survey is just theater (pardon the pun).

They do mention now it will be flexible-use, with more than just gaming: "The proposed facility would be one of the premier esports facilities in the U.S., but would also have the ability to host concerts, meetings, sporting events, movies and much more. It would also be a facility with numerous opportunities for locals to participate, including area high schools and universities."  That makes me a bit more supportive of the idea.

The article also mentions the esports club at USC Upstate, but like all colleges, they have their own facility on-campus.  So I don't see why students would go all the way to the Carolina Theater to game when they have a great facility steps away.  But anyway, if the developers can get financing for this idea, more power to them.  I'd love to see the theater renovated and back in use.

I'm in favor, especially seeing that it will be flexible-use. Even having it host primarily eSports events would still be consistent with its historic DNA, which has always been entertainment, in one fashion or another. Plus, with the Chapman Cultural Center now being literally within the same block, it'd be redundant to have it be used as a theater. Financially, I don't see how it would be a feasible endeavor to restore and keep the place running. 

I, for one, hope this helps renovate this almost forgotten space in Spartanburg. I understand the hesitation that others have towards this, but I wonder if it doesn't derive mainly from stereotypes against e-sports as a whole. Granted, the place has excellent acoustics, which perhaps gaming in itself can't capitalize on as much as the arts, but seeing that it will be able to be used for concerts, now that to me is a moot point. 

Something to take into consideration is how important this would be tourism wise. It is a rapidly growing industry. With the Fairfield Inn still being planned for the property directly to the right, and with St. John Street Garage being right there as well, I think this will work very, very well in getting people to come for a night or two and shop around town. It's a win no matter how I look at it... with my limited perspective and biases, of course. I'm also a gamer, after all! :P

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2 hours ago, Santi said:

I'm in favor, especially seeing that it will be flexible-use. Even having it host primarily eSports events would still be consistent with its historic DNA, which has always been entertainment, in one fashion or another. Plus, with the Chapman Cultural Center now being literally within the same block, it'd be redundant to have it be used as a theater. Financially, I don't see how it would be a feasible endeavor to restore and keep the place running. 

I, for one, hope this helps renovate this almost forgotten space in Spartanburg. I understand the hesitation that others have towards this, but I wonder if it doesn't derive mainly from stereotypes against e-sports as a whole. Granted, the place has excellent acoustics, which perhaps gaming in itself can't capitalize on as much as the arts, but seeing that it will be able to be used for concerts, now that to me is a moot point. 

Something to take into consideration is how important this would be tourism wise. It is a rapidly growing industry. With the Fairfield Inn still being planned for the property directly to the right, and with St. John Street Garage being right there as well, I think this will work very, very well in getting people to come for a night or two and shop around town. It's a win no matter how I look at it... with my limited perspective and biases, of course. I'm also a gamer, after all! :P

After reading about CSL, it's business model and leadership, my opinion regarding this project is beginning to change.  I'd still prefer a performance venue but this company seems to have the bona fides to pull this off and do it well.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I took a look through the (dirty) windows of the mystery basement space beneath the MB.  The door leads to a landing with more stairs going down ~10 feet to a very tall space.  There appears to be industrial artwork already in place, made from remnants of boiler room machinery.  It's really cool-looking.  Could be one of the most unique spaces in the Upstate.  Hope we hear what's going in there soon.

PXL_20221218_205847890.thumb.jpg.18287daa10e0886ce4fb6f3ebc3b908b.jpg

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