Hussey Seating: The 185-year-old firm expands its esports ambitions

01 December 2020


Not many companies in the esports space can claim to have been in business for decades, let alone more than a century, but Hussey Seating Company can. Founded in 1835, the family-owned firm began by creating the cast plow for New England’s rocky soil and over the years pivoted to seating solutions for stadiums, theatres, arenas, and more.

With headquarters in Maine and regional offices in the UK and Asia, Hussey has amassed a significant number of internationally-known projects under its belt, including creating seating solutions for major venues such as Chicago’s United Center, the MGM Park Theater in Las Vegas, and the Hong Kong Convention Center.

As dedicated esports venues spring to life, whether it’s new construction or remodelling existing buildings, Hussey Seating has already provided seating solutions for major developments including Esports Stadium Arlington, the Alienware Arena at Fortress Melbourne, and The Fortress at Full Sail University. Esports has been in Hussey’s sights for several years now, and the company is well-positioned to capitalise on the growing wave of dedicated esports venues.

Image credit: Hussey Seating Company

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Recently, Hussey announced a partnership with the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) making them the Official Seating Solutions Supplier of NACE. More than 170 colleges and universities across the United States are part of the NACE, including over 94 percent of all varsity collegiate programmes, with more than 5,000 students participating in its programmes. 

“We’re really excited to establish ourselves with a national partner like NACE and be able to not only gain access to their members, but learn more about what’s important to them and what’s driving them so that we can develop tools and products that will really fit their audience,” Sean O’Leary, Hussey Seating Company’s VP of Sales and Marketing, explained to Esports Insider.

Image credit: Hussey Seating Company

“It’s a give and take relationship for both of us,” he continued. “We’re going to be able to get on a deeper level with their members and really help design their facilities hand-in-hand with them. Plus, we want to increase our exposure in the esports industry, and I think the more people are exposed to the work that we do and the solutions we provide, along with the visualisation tools, the more work we’re going to see.”

Hussey Seating provides a full range of seating solutions, ranging from Clarin portable chairs to retractable/telescopic bleachers, premium fixed seating, and more. The company prides itself on working closely with clients to devise seating solutions that will maximise the space they have available. With esports clients in particular, O’Leary said the company has found that such venues usually benefit from the flexibility to tweak and reconfigure the space to meet the varying needs of different events and competitions.

“You need a partner that’s going to approach a project with you and see your long-term vision,” he said. “How are you going to use the facility for esports? Are you going to use it for other revenue-generating events? What type of audience do you have? We’re able to provide that one-stop-shop for every seat in the house.”

The NACE partnership is a significant addition for Hussey Seating Company, given the rise in collegiate esports programmes and the likely influx in venue construction in the years ahead. Even with that alliance on its plate, the company will widen its remit in its search for additional esports organisations that can benefit from its myriad of seating solutions.

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One of Hussey’s standout benefits is the ability to provide detailed visualisation to clients, so they can see the venue brought to life digitally before construction begins. Thanks to detailed Autodesk Revit models, Hussey’s designers can provide a hyper-realistic 3D layout of a space with varying seating options, and clients can even create a Stereo Panoramic rendering from any seat in the room, in order to look around and check sightlines from that seat.

It is that marriage of modern seating and visualisation technology with long-established roots and a trusted history that O’Leary said sets Hussey apart from newer players in the esports seating space. The quality of its seating products speaks for itself, and the company’s nearly two-century lifespan suggests a resilient, capable business.

Read the full version of this article in Edition 7 of The Esports Journal.

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