Northern Kentucky University celebrated the opening of the Sandbox, an innovation lab and home to NKU eSports.
The ribbon was cut on the new venue on Friday.
NKU Esports is a new varsity sports program for students to compete in live video game events like Madden NFL or Rocket League, an arcade-style game blending soccer and vehicular mayhem. The Sandbox serves as the official arena of NKU Esports and a hub for students to practice and compete.
The space features 11 state-of-the-art gaming stations and periphery equipment, as well as large monitors for fans to watch live competitions and game replays.
“The esports program is a tremendous opportunity for all of our students and has found incredible success so far,” said Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President Bonita Brown. “Our new arena is a unique way NKU continues to impact student success and directly create a better student experience. Despite the many new obstacles, we remain committed to serving students and equipping them with the necessary resources.”
The Honors College led a team of faculty, staff and students to compete in the university’s Innovation Challenge last January. As a result, the team received a $75,000 grant through NKU’s Innovation Challenge last January to build the Sandbox.
The Innovation Challenge awarded funds that supported student success initiatives.
With its continued growth in popularity and university support, NKU also announced scholarships will soon be available to recruit talented esports student-athletes.
The Sandbox will additionally be home to a production studio for streaming matches and developing content to promote NKU Esports, such as student shoutcasters providing live play-by-play entertainment during games. Many students have