Video gaming arena chain first launched in U.K. coming to Schaumburg
Belong Gaming, a British-launched chain of video and computer gaming arenas, will open a location at Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg as part of the company's expansion into the U.S.
Schaumburg officials recently granted Belong approval for the use of a 6,190-square-foot space above the entrance to the Laugh Out Loud Improv Comedy Company.
The village also granted an exception to zoning regulations that normally require such video gaming facilities to be no less than 20,000 square feet and include a sit-down restaurant area of at least 4,500 square feet.
Belong currently operates 25 locations in the United Kingdom and last month opened its first U.S. location in suburban Houston. Besides Schaumburg, the company plans to open additional venues in the Dallas, Nashville and Columbus, Ohio areas.
Not to be confused with a video gambling facility, Belong locations are gathering places for esports players who can compete against one another using the venue's computers and gaming consoles. Players are charged through the use of debit cards issued by the business rather than with coins or other currency.
Belong representatives told village officials the business should be boon for restaurants at Streets of Woodfield.
In casting a 7-1 vote recommending the proposal, most members of Schaumburg's zoning board of appeals said the business was different enough to merit an exception from the village's zoning code. Member Pat Riley cast the dissenting vote, saying he preferred to see the existing regulations rewritten.
Village trustees concurred with the zoning board's majority opinion with a 5-0 vote in favor of the plan.
Though equipped with 72 gaming consoles, the venue will have an occupancy capacity of 251, with three to six employees expected to be on duty at any given time.
The hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, with closing time extended to 1 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
An opening date at Streets of Woodfield has not yet been specified.