GLASSBORO, N.J. — Rowan University has teamed up with a Philadelphia-based esports company to develop “one of the region’s largest collegiate esports gaming and academic programs.”
Announced on Thursday, Sept. 12, N3rd Street Gamers will invest over $1 million to construct and develop a 7,500 square-foot gaming facility on Rowan Boulevard in Glassboro. The facility will include a broadcast studio and other amenities to be used in tandem with Rowan University.
“Esports has evolved well beyond playing games. The most important aspect for Rowan is its academic component,” Rowan University President Ali A. Houshmand said in a press release. “It will offer our students hands-on training—via internships—and knowledge in a variety of fields that will prepare them to become leaders in technology, engineering, business, computer programming and even broadcasting as it applies to this emerging industry.”
Rowan and N3rd Street Gamers will work together to develop curriculum related to the esports industry, establish internship opportunities, and create club and varsity-level teams.
Rowan University’s Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday, Sept. 11, to allocate $230,000 this academic year to purchase memberships for students to the N3rd Street Gamers network and provide them access to their gaming equipment free of charge.
“Gaming is no longer just a form of entertainment. There are legitimate careers to pursue within this industry, but the paths aren’t always clear,” N3rd Street Gamers CEO John Fazio said in a press release. “This premier esports facility will give Rowan University students and the surrounding community the opportunity to learn both technical and professional skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
The Rowan University esports facility will be modeled from existing venues in Philadelphia and Denver facilities run byN3rd Street Gamers.
More than 120 varsity collegiate programs are members of the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE).
A day-long tournament for students enrolled at Rowan University and its Rowan College partner school will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19 to kick off its esports initiative. The university is expected to recruit for its team early in the spring semester.