OverActive Media has released the first rendering of its planned performance venue in Toronto that will be used for both esports and entertainment events throughout the region.

The project, at a cost of nearly $500 million, is projected to be completed in 2025. Designed by Populous, it would include a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex that would be the first new sports or entertainment venue built in Toronto since BMO Field in 2007.

“Today is another important step in the evolution of OverActive Media,” said OverActive President and CEO Chris Overholt. “We are building a world leading, 21st century sports media and entertainment company and this best-in-class performance venue will be the chosen home for a new generation of fans that think differently about their entertainment choices and experiences.”

Located in the heart of the historic CNE Grounds, the facility would be positioned on four acres as a future meeting place for sports, media and entertainment. It will be a privately financed venue.

“It has always been our intention to develop a venue and hosting strategy and to build a facility that could not only serve as an iconic home for our two franchises, but ultimately emerge as a global hub for major international esport events. We are already in active discussions to attract some of the biggest esport events in the world. This venue will redefine Toronto’s event hosting opportunities in every way,” Overholt said.

The facility plans to host 200-plus events a year between esports, music and entertainment. OverActive Media is the owner of four major global esport franchises, including Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League.

“The design of the theatre was neither conceived as a sports arena nor an opera house, rather, a new typology that straddles the two — a state-of-the-art performance venue. The theatre architecture creates a merger of the old and the new,” said Jonathan Mallie, senior principal and lead designer for Populous. “The old channeling the rhythmic repetition of historic landmark theatres, and the new, integrating the progressive forms of avant-garde 21st-century design. In combination, a symbiotic balance delivers a one-of-a-kind theatre experience, unique to Toronto and the world.”