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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette Athletics seeks corporate partners, donors to fund esports facility

Marquette is looking to upgrade an existing space for its esports facility. (Rendering courtesy of Marquette Athletics)

Marquette Athletics is still seeking a facility and coach for its esports program, athletic director Bill Scholl told the Marquette Wire.

Scholl said acquiring the facility remains the top priority. The preference is to refurbish an existing space on campus rather than building a new facility.

The goal is to complete the space by the start of the League of Legends season in January, senior associate athletic director Scott Kuykendall said.

The athletic department is seeking corporate partnerships and contributions from donors to pay for the facility.

Learfield IMG College and Chicago-based marketing agency Intersport are helping Marquette pursue those partnerships. Scholl described Intersport as “the experts in the business right now” for esports.

If there still aren’t corporate partners in six months or so, Scholl said the department “might look at other alternatives.”

Scholl did not have an estimate of how much the facility will cost, saying the expenses vary “all over the map.”

When asked Aug. 20 about the status of esports’ formation, University President Michael Lovell didn’t have an update.

“They are having some significant conversations with some of our partners,” Lovell said. “I wish I knew you were going to ask that. I would’ve gotten an update.”

Lovell reiterated that the facility will be available to all students when the varsity team is not using the space.

The search for a coach has not started yet, but Scholl and Kuykendall said there has been “a lot of interest” among prospective coaches and players.

“I’m not concerned,” Kuykendall said. “We’ll find somebody, that’s for sure.”

The athletic directors said a coach is not necessary to start the season, and obtaining a space is more important.

“The last few years, we’ve utilized the club team (who) kind of helped us put a roster together,” Kuykendall said. “That’s what we’d do again.”

Scholl said the progression of esports gives Marquette an advantage in recruiting many students pursuing career fields in science, technology, engineering and math.

“The kind of students it’d typically attract are the kinds of students you’d like to have coming to Marquette,” Scholl said.

Kuykendall said the team will have 10 to 15 players.

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