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students in esports classroom

TU celebrates the largest esports arena in the nation

Tiffin University celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the largest esports arena in the nation on Friday, April 13. The event, open to the public, included a tour of the facility, a showcase of esport student-athletes gaming and refreshments. The complex houses a state-of-the-art training room as well as a gaming lounge for students to practice and compete.

Mitch Blonde, Vice President for Institutional Advancement & Public Affairs/Chief Advancement Officer, welcomed the large crowd that included TU Trustees, representatives from SIEDC, Chamber of Commerce, Clouse Construction, subcontractors, local families and more.

Redefining what it means to be a student athlete, Tiffin University joined the world of digital athletics as video game competitions, also known as esports, last summer. The demand of interested students was so great, TU moved up the timeline for its program, acquired land, and constructed a stand‐alone, 4,000 square‐foot arena.

The Esports Head Coach, Chalin Cahlik said “We’ve grown exponentially from where we started. When we first began this program, we were in the basement of St. Mary’s and I think we’ve come a long way from then. It’s been incredible to be a part of this journey, to see our program grow and see how large it has become.”

“This fall we had 40 students that we signed that came in to play esports at Tiffin University,” said Athletic Director Lonny Allen. “I walk in (to the arena) and you can feel the intensity. You can feel how serious these student-athletes are about what they are doing. It’s a pretty amazing experience.”

“Tiffin University, has built its success over the last three decades by building facilities and sports programs like you see. And we won’t stop doing that. We will be very intentional about the athletic programs that we continue to bring to our space” said TU President Lillian Schumacher. “You’ll continue to see growth. You’ll continue to see us putting up buildings as appropriate. But we are so very, very happy today to be able to say that we are having a ribbon cutting for this amazing idea that started less than a year before the building was actually built.”

For additional information about TU’s esports program, contact Chalin Cahlik, head coach, at or call 419.341.1826.

Director of Tiffin University Athletics, Lonny Allen, can be reached at

Click to view event photo album