News Details


Cedar Fair Announces First Phase of Development for Esports Facility in Sandusky

February 7, 2023

Opening in May, Cedar Point Esports to offer 32 competitive gaming stations

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today announced details for the first phase of a planned competitive gaming development at the Cedar Point Sports Center in Sandusky.

The first phase of what will be known as Cedar Point Esports will be a 1,000-square-foot space that will house a state-of-the-art, full-service gaming area with the capability to broadcast and produce livestreams and content. Centralized within the venue will be 32 competitive gaming setups against the backdrop of multimedia video displays that have the flexibility to connect for larger events. Top-tier professional gaming stations and equipment will be utilized throughout the first phase for practice, competition, and extra-curricular play.

The vision for this first phase of development, which will open in May, is to create Northern Ohio’s premier immersive gaming experience for leagues, camps and clinics. The facility also can serve as a practice venue for local high school and collegiate esports teams. This initial phase will eventually serve as the gateway from the existing Cedar Point Sports Center to the upcoming larger Phase II expansion. Future plans for the development are likely to include food, beverage and a larger competitive space.

“Cedar Fair’s long-term strategy is focused on delivering immersive entertainment experiences that differentiate our parks and create an environment where guests want to come back again and again,” said Richard A. Zimmerman, president and chief executive officer. “The opening of the Cedar Point Sports Center in 2017 was consistent with this strategy and has proved to be a huge draw for amateur sports teams and other large groups. Given the booming popularity of competitive gaming, we believe there is an opportunity to tap into its rapid worldwide growth, while providing a natural tie-in to all that Cedar Point has to offer.”

Cedar Fair is partnering with North Coast Entertainment (NCE) to develop and run the facility, which will be an additional amenity for the Cedar Point Sports Center that can regularly be used by visitors and the public alike. NCE was established to be the consummate host for the gamer in each of us. The company is deliberate with each of its projects to keep the adventurous entertained and expand the gamer experience through both physical and virtual spaces.

“We believe Cedar Point Esports will be the region’s premier destination for daily video game play, highly anticipated competitive gaming events and tournaments, and gaming-related experiences,” said Scott Norcross, founder and chief executive officer of NCE and a 15-year veteran of the esports industry. He started in the early 2000s representing professional esports and traditional athletes and assisting with the startup and running of esports franchises. NCE has developed local area network (LAN) centers, gaming venues and live events throughout the East Coast, including spearheading esports for Destination Sport Miami. Norcross also is a partner at the law firm, Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, where he chairs the firm's Esports, Media & Entertainment Group.

Cedar Point Esports represents the next phase of development of the approximately $50 million Cedar Point Sports Center. That highly successful venue includes Sports Force Parks and its 10 multi-purpose outdoor turf fields, as well as a 145,000-square-foot indoor facility boasting 10 basketball courts. The Cedar Point Sports Center is a significant economic driver that reflects Cedar Fair’s continued investment in the region.

Esports is the competitive side of the rapidly growing electronic gaming industry. Global revenue from competitive gaming was estimated at nearly $1.4 billion last year, with double-digit growth year-over-year and an estimated audience of more than 530 million people worldwide. Two out of three Americans are gamers, with 75% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 years old. The average time spent gaming is more than six hours per week.

A downloadable image of the Cedar Point Esports gaming area can be found on the Cedar Fair investor website at https://ir.cedarfair.com/news/media-room/default.aspx#photos.

About Cedar Fair

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world, is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio. Focused on its mission to make people happy by providing fun, immersive, and memorable experiences, the Company owns and operates 13 properties, consisting of 11 amusement parks, four separately gated outdoor water parks, and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,300 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. Cedar Fair’s parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Texas and Toronto, Ontario.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements contained in this news release that are not historical in nature constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements as to the Company's expectations, beliefs, goals, and strategies regarding the future. These forward-looking statements may involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, may be beyond our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct, including the timing of any debt paydown or payment of partnership distributions, or that the Company's growth strategies will achieve the targeted results. Important factors, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, general economic conditions, adverse weather conditions, competition for consumer leisure time and spending, unanticipated construction delays, changes in the Company’s capital investment plans and projects and other factors discussed from time to time by the Company in its reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) could affect attendance at the Company’s parks, as well as the timing of any debt paydown or payment of partnership distributions, and the Company's growth strategies, and cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations or otherwise to fluctuate or decrease. Additional information on risk factors that may affect the business and financial results of the Company can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the filings of the Company made from time to time with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether a result of new information, future events, information, circumstances or otherwise that arise after the publication of this document.

This news release and prior releases are available under the News tab at http://ir.cedarfair.com

Investor Contact: Michael Russell, 419.627.2233
Media Contact: Gary Rhodes, 704.249.6119

Source: Cedar Fair Entertainment Company