The Springfield Sports Commission announced the formation of the Springfield Esports Coalition on Dec. 15. The Springfield Esports Coalition’s mission is to use gaming for good by developing, advocating and enriching the esports culture in the Greene County area.
“Esports is one of the fastest growing industries in entertainment in the world," said Marc Mayer, chair of the Sports Commission board "We are excited about the opportunity to create the Springfield Esports Coalition and work with those in the industry in Springfield and be on the ground floor for this growing segment. It is an exciting opportunity for our Springfield Sports Commission.”
The coalition aims to drive awareness and engagement by harnessing the growing power and influence of esports. Producing events locally and regionally with an emphasis on promoting them nationally will help attract economic value that can be invested back into more projects, such as scholarship programs at local high schools, statewide events and university competitions in the Midwest.
The coalition is made up of a committee of the Springfield Sports Commission with representation from its board of directors, along with the support of Contender Esports and the region’s gaming community. The Esports Coalition will be member-based and open to the gaming community. The coalition will meet regularly to facilitate the growth of the industry and sport.
“We are excited to dive into the world of esports," said Lance Kettering, executive director of the Springfield Sports Commission. "It is our goal to make Springfield a destination and hub of esports activity in the region and the United States. We feel fortunate to have a strong esports community in the Springfield area and we are ready to harness that strength and make an impact for the benefit of Springfield.”
Event plans are already in the works for the coalition and include the Missouri High School Esports Invitational in Spring 2023, The Corporate Cup and the Missouri High School Esports Showcase in Fall 2023.
“Springfield is in the unique position to be the centerpiece of esports in our nation," said Brett Payne, CEO and founder of Springfield-based Contender Esports. "We are home to some of the strongest contributors to the industry from education, retail and business development, and citywide support. The coalition gives context and a path for our city to not only be elevated as America’s number one esports city, but also to provide strength to all parties in our community to thrive together as never before.”
Coalition membership is available for $100 per year and includes access to monthly networking events and inclusion in cooperative efforts to support, enhance and market individual events and projects.
Registration for the coalition can be completed at www.springfieldmosports.org/membership.
For more information about the Esports Coalition, visit www.springfieldmosports.org/springfield-esports-coalition/.
Founded in 1999, the Sports Commission is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. The Sports Commission is a mission-driven organization working to contribute to the economic development of Springfield by bringing quality sporting events to the Springfield area. To learn more about the Sports Commission, visit www.springfieldmosports.org.