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Media Advisory: UND to mark Grand Opening of Esports facility

Members of the media are invited to do an early walk through of the space on Friday, March 31, from 11-11:30 a.m. Public tours will run from 12-4 p.m.


Who: UND President Andrew Armacost, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Eric Link and Ethan Taylor, a varsity Esports player, will give remarks at the event.

What: Event celebrates the Grand Opening of the North Dakota Varsity Esports facility, coinciding with the North Dakota and Minnesota state esports tournament at the Alerus Center.

When: Friday, March 31. Formal remarks and a brief ribbon cutting will be at 11:30, followed by public tours from 12-4 p.m. Media members can get an early walk through from 11-11:30 a.m. that day.

Where: First floor of the Memorial Union. Passport parking is available in the ramp at the corner of University Avenue and North Columbia Rd.

Background: On Friday, March 31 the growing Esports ecosystem in North Dakota is set to take an important step forward. That day, UND will mark the Grand Opening of its North Dakota Varsity Esports facility, located in the Lower tunnels of Swanson Hall. Remarks and a ribbon cutting will be held on the Social Stairs of the Memorial Union, and tours of the facility will be held thereafter till 4 p.m.

The Esports facility will house the North Dakota Varsity Esports Team, which previously undertook its competitions in the Nexus, located in the Wellness Center. Construction efforts there began in late summer 2022. The facility has a competition space, a classroom and offices for coaching and program staff. The UND-branded facility represents the University’s latest efforts to provide student-athletes with a cutting-edge space for competition and practice, and further establishes the identity and culture of Varsity Esports as an athletic team at UND.

The new facility also represents a step forward for the esports ecosystem in North Dakota. In early 2020 UND formed a competitive esports league, with Varsity Esports holding an exhibition match later that year. Skipping ahead to early 2022, UND launched North Dakota’s first esports bachelor’s degree, and the March 31 event celebrates the team having a permanent home.

March 31 also coincides with the North Dakota and Minnesota state esports tournament, hosted by Fenworks, at the Alerus Center. Fenworks is a Grand Forks-based K-12 esports company, and is active in 50 schools in North Dakota. More than 75 students who are coming to Grand Forks for the tournament will tour the new UND facility throughout the day.

Questions: For any questions, please contact Jeffrey E. Holm, vice provost, Strategic Programming & Special Initiatives, 701.777.5964, or email or call the Division of Academic Affairs at or 701.777.2167.