Player-owned arenas

Does Eve need arenas? Kirith Kodachi thinks it does. He lists both the reasons (give the players the option to self-organize consensual pvp) and the tools (similar to those currently used in Alliance tournaments).

There are multiple ways to consider arenas. Let's forget a bit about consensual pvp and stick with the exciting word "arena", the associated concepts and the way they fit with the setting. The way I see it, an arena is:

a) destructive and therefore underground. Ships are blown up for no strategic purpose. Thousands of productive citizens die in space to satisfy the dark urges of humankind. Even though the high-sec states may conduct panem et circenses policies, I don't think they would actively encourage such a waste of resources. However, they might not outlaw it. Just remember the punishment inflicted upon Admiral Eturrer by the Gallente Federation, arguably the most humane empire. New Eve is a harsh place.

b) serious business: when I think "arenas", I think "Circus Maximus, thousands of spectators, hundreds of guards"; in a modern setting, I think "illegal fights organized by criminal organizations", as it happens in Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan; or I think about the sports leagues and the billions they generate. Ultimate fighting is a business with dedicated structures and an entry price.

Wish list
Instead of contracts, I would prefer CCP to introduce a set of physical mechanisms to organize arenas, allowing players to parameter the actual rules as they see fit, from 1 vs 1 to deathmatch. One such mechanism could be a starbase module which, when active:
- enlarges the force field by a factor of ten or more; the new boundaries would be delimited by a "daughter module" setting at the periphery of the new force field. This module, in arena mode, would be targetable by ships located outside the force field. When the arena is deactivated, the module would fly back to the main module. (This way, the arena can still be sieged by anybody in the mood for breaking the party;)
- allows targeting between ships inside the force field;
- generates a bubble wherein 0.0 rules apply (no security standings penalty, no CONCORD in high-sec). This bubble would also prevent warpouts;
- acts as a remote camera enabling every authorized pilot to watch the fight. To access this camera would require an invite, similar to a fleet invite but the arena owner would be able to charge camera access on acceptance of the invitation.
Guns and missiles batteries usually meant to protect the starbase could be directed against rule-breakers and troublemakers. Some new modules could function as "props" and flavor the setting of the arena.

With this solution, arenas are starbases that can provide both entertainment and, if popular enough, revenue. Asteroid fields and safespots with cans would still be places of choices for small-time shootings; but business-minded criminals would be able to set up their own arenas of death and organize leagues and championships without further intervention from high above. I, for one, would welcome our new arena overlords: you.

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