Sport management students learn from and interact with the WMU Esports Arena

Contact: Chris Hybels

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Students from the Western Michigan University College of Education and Human Development’s HPHE 3000 Intro to Esports class were invited to tour the WMU Esports Arena to learn more about producing esports events and tournaments. They also had the opportunity to look behind the scenes at the broadcasting and commentary booths used during live events.  

“One of our core philosophies is getting outside the classroom and experiencing the industry and potential future jobs that students might have firsthand,” explains Dr. Collin Cork, assistant professor of sport management in the Department of Human Performance and Health Education. “Whether that is facility tours in the arena or speaking with members of the athletic department here at Western or with the (Kalamazoo) Growlers and going out and seeing these things and interacting with industry professionals.”

Esports is a booming industry that is expected to have an annual growth of 8% according to Statista. In response, Western will be utilizing the WMU Esports Arena for academic purposes and with its new esports minor, projected for fall 2023. The esports minor will be housed in the Department of Human Performance and Health Education.

“We have been working on an initiative in the past year or so collaboratively with other programs and colleges across campus to put together an esports minor, which is something we are super excited about being one of the first in the country,” says Cork. “We are excited by it because esports is a growing industry; it is kind of new, it’s exploding, growing rapidly, it's global and there is a lot of opportunity in the future for our students—and we really wanted to be at the forefront of that.”   

about the wmu e-sports arena

The WMU Esports Arena is a venue for both the University and Kalamazoo gaming communities. The state-of-the-art facility offers 36 gaming machines, of which 12 are competition computers, set in front of a 190-seat auditorium. The arena is the home for the University’s varsity and club teams and hosts camps throughout the summer for students in grades six through twelve. For more information visit the WMU Esports Arena webpage.