December 16, 2021 (TORONTO, CANADA) – OverActive Media (“OverActive” or the “Company”) (TSXV:OAM) (OTCQB:OAMCF), a leading global esports and entertainment organization, has secured lease terms approval from Toronto City Council for its previously announced performance venue. This significant milestone marks the final review and approval required at the municipal level, bringing the Company’s venue vision one step closer to fruition.
To be located in the heart of the historic Exhibition Place, the proposed state-of-the-art theatre-style entertainment venue, developed by global design firm Populous, is anticipated to book 180-200 events per year, creating a new node within the area for diverse employment and economic activity. The venue is designed to be a destination at its core, driven primarily by premium music and entertainment bookings, in addition to major city-wide conventions, corporate events and product launches, award shows and naturally, a full slate of esports events increasing over time. It will also provide a home to OverActive Media’s professional Call of Duty and Overwatch League franchises. According to an Economic Impact Analysis prepared by urbanMetrics inc., the performance venue project will bring significant qualitative and quantitative benefits to the city.
“Over the past year, we have worked incredibly hard to get phase one of our performance venue project over the finish line and there’s no slowing down now. We’re fortunate to have such great partners in the city who share our vision to build a preeminent venue for today’s generation of fans, one that will truly benefit the city of Toronto and its many sports and entertainment fans for years to come,” said Chris Overholt, President and CEO, OverActive Media. “With project construction scheduled to begin in late 2022 and completed in 2025, we’ve been aggressively working on the business and marketing plan. We expect to have several capital partners in this project – notable venue operators and developers who will no doubt bring all their experience to bear ensuring its success. Once the venue is completed, we believe that it will contribute significantly to the growth of OverActive Media.”
Highlights from the Economic Impact Analysis include:
- Over 3,000 jobs will be supported during the planning, design, and construction phases of development. The majority of these jobs (82% or 2,460 jobs) will be within the City of Toronto.
- Upon completion, the subject site is expected to support a range of economic activity and permanent on-site employment opportunities, including 650 direct, indirect, and induced full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs. Approximately 550 permanent on-site employees will be accommodated on-site.
- One-time capital investments are expected to yield approximately $124 million in government revenues, including more than $26 million accruing directly to the City of Toronto when including direct, indirect, and induced components.
- The proposed development of the subject site is expected to generate some $39 million in annual government revenues, including approximately $6.9 million in property tax revenue to the City of Toronto upon its full realization.
- Tourists visiting the proposed performance venue are expected to spend some $186 million annually elsewhere across the City and the Province (e.g., restaurants and shopping across the City).
- Once completed, tourist spending associated with visitors to the proposed performance venue will support some 1,790 FTE jobs annually, 89% of which will be based in the City of Toronto.
“Further development in the heart of Exhibition Place through OverActive Media’s performance venue project will create new jobs and investment opportunities, and enhance our position as a global entertainment destination,” said John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto. “With City Council’s approval, I look forward to seeing this project get underway, providing a new hub for Toronto and the surrounding community.”
According to the Economic Impact Analysis, in addition to the primary economic impacts highlighted above, the new venue is also expected to yield a range of qualitative benefits that enhance broader city-building and economic development efforts including:
- Strengthening the city’s position as a strong and fast-growing technology sector by expanding the breadth of esports-related technology jobs available in Toronto, which could potentially attract students, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitals, and businesses.
- A major venue with internationally promoted events will highlight the City of Toronto through live broadcasts, enhanced media presence, social media posts and fan and performer experiences. This would be similar to the tourism and business boost which occurs in cities following major events such as the Olympics or international fairs.
- The proposed venue will enhance city-building and economic development efforts and will support the City’s and the Province’s investments in the area, the City’s Exhibition Place Master Plan and the Province’s redevelopment of the Ontario Place site.
“Toronto is one of the best entertainment markets in the world. OverActive Media’s performance venue project provides an opportunity to further enhance our global reputation and to attract visitors to our great city, including the esports community,” said Scott Beck, President and CEO, Destination Toronto. “I look forward to seeing the vision for such an engaging space come to life.”
“We’ve been working closely with our city partners to assist in the development of a strategy that will position Toronto squarely as an international hub for global esports. We expect this venue will be the centrepiece of that strategy and provide a significant opportunity to meaningfully increase shareholder value,” added Overholt.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains statements which constitute “forward-looking statements” and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”), including statements regarding OverActive’s proposed development of a performance venue, the anticipated benefits of the proposed performance venue and its plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations with respect to future business activities and operating performance. Forward-looking statements are often identified by the words “may”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “will”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” or similar expressions.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but instead OverActive management’s expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Although OverActive believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed thereon, as unknown or unpredictable factors could have material adverse effects on future results, performance or achievements of the OverActive. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements include the following: the potential impact of OverActive’s qualifying transaction on relationships, including with regulatory bodies, employees, suppliers, customers and competitors; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; changes in applicable laws and regulations both locally and in foreign jurisdictions; compliance with extensive government regulation; the risks and uncertainties associated with foreign markets; and other risk factors set out in OverActive’s filing statement dated July 2, 2021, a copy of which may be found under OverActive’s profile at www.sedar.com. These forward-looking statements may be affected by risks and uncertainties in the business of OverActive and general market conditions, including COVID-19.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although OverActive has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended and such changes could be material. OverActive does not intend and do not assume any obligation, to update the forward-looking statements except as otherwise required by applicable law.
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