Getting to the airport early is one of those things everyone knows they should do, but nobody really wants to do. Except maybe at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where the world’s first airport gaming lounge is now open.
A company called Gameway has brought video games to the edge of the runway, opening the world’s first video game lounge at DFW. There are two, in fact, in Terminals B and E, to keep fliers occupied between flights or during weather delays, which DFW has plenty of.
Gameway President Jordan Walbridge says their aim is to make airports entertaining, and their goal is worldwide. He says DFW was aggressive in wanting to be the first airport with a gaming lounge, but they are in talks with others.
It’s a perfect fit, from a business standpoint. The average gamers are 35-year-old men, and 40-year-old women which, according to Walbridge, perfectly aligns with who’s traveling through the airports.
This is No Video Arcade!
If you’re expecting something akin to the tradition arcade gameroom, you will be delightfully – or sadly – disappointed. This is where gaming enthusiasts’ dreams come true. The lounges feature gaming stations – 36 in all – with big leather seats, 43-inch TVs, noise-cancelling headphones, charging ports, and luggage racks. They sit side-by-side, rather than in a pod, so you’ll be able watch others play, or engage in some pre-flight trash talk.
Each game station has an X-Box loaded with the latest hit games, like Fortnite, NBA2k18, Madden, FIFA, Call of Duty, etc. You also have the option to log in and play your own games. Players can choose to pay and play by the minute, at 42¢ per minute (US), or in 30-minute increments that start at $10.99 for 30 minutes. In the event your flight is delayed more than two hours, or you just got to the airport super early, an Unlimited Pass is $44.99.
The eSports eXplosion
Opening the first airport gaming lounge in DFW makes perfect sense. The eSports industry was born in Dallas, though a recent survey by ESPN ranked DFW second behind Los Angeles as the eSports capital. Many of the industry’s leading companies and competing teams are based in DFW, and it has exploded in recent years. That growth has been fueled lately by Dallas’ sports magnates, Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones. Aside from their well-known teams, Cuban owns Mavs Gaming, which competes in an inaugural NBA e-league, and Jones is the majority owner of compLexity Gaming.
Not far from the airport, Arlington, Texas, is betting big on eSports as well. The city has committed $10-million to remodel and rebrand their convention center as the Esports Stadium Arlington. The venue is in the middle of Arlington’s growing sports and entertainment district, which includes AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park, home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers.
DFW is staking its claim as the world capital of eSports.
The side benefit is that you get to play Fortnite between flights!
What’s your favorite way to spend time at the airport? Would you pay to play during a flight delay, or is this just the latest airport fad? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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Photos courtesy of Airport Gameway.