ESPN and DisneyXD recently switched a chunk of their programming to focus on esports (competitive video gaming, drone racing, etc) and now Walt Disney World wants to bring a similar slate of esports to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The ESPN WWOS Complex hosts athletes from over 70 different genres of sports at its 220-acres of facilities already, so shoe-horning in some drone racing and video games won’t be that difficult. In fact, with the recent loss of MLB Spring Training, there’s definite gap in the schedule.
A report over at Forbes talks with Faron Kelley the Vice President of Sports at Disney World about while esports are on his radar:
“We are trying to keep up with what sports are breaking and how we can be involved in them,” says Mr Kelley. “Esports is a big one we are looking at and are very excited about it.”
Believe it or not, some esports events attract huge sponsorship and audiences (both in person and online) leading to big payoffs for the competitors. This is a potentially lucrative move for Disney World.
I always think of ESPN WWOS as Walt Disney World’s 5th gate. It can have thousands of families visiting on any day bringing those visitors their own unique slice of magic. Those families then fill up Disney’s hotels and restuarants, and usually sneak in a couple visits to the theme parks too. It would be nice if ESPN WWOS had some sports that anyone could participate in. The once had a plan for 100 bowling lanes, but esports fits that definition too.
At this time Disney has no specific plans to announce for esports and ESPN WWOS, but they are interested in bringing the competitions to Central Florida. Are you a fan of esports or a competitor? Would you travel to Orlando to participate in some gaming while also sneaking in a visit to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below.