Another sporting arena is set to break ground in the City of Brotherly Love this summer, but this one is sure to attract a different type of crowd than what you’d expect to find around the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.
Comcast Spectator and The Cordish Companies announced their plan to build a $50 million video gaming arena on top of a parking lot adjacent to dining and entertaining complex, Xfinity Live! The 3,500-seat venue will be home to the Comcast Overwatch League team, Philadelphia Fusion. Gamers will now be able to take advantage of opportunities and experiences not previously available to them including access to a training facility, broadcast studio, and team offices.
“We are thrilled to bring this ambitious idea to life and celebrate the arrival of Fusion Arena with gaming enthusiasts throughout the region and beyond,” said Joe Marsh, Chief Business Officer of Spectator Gaming and the Philadelphia Fusion. “This project places esports alongside all the major traditional sports that call South Philadelphia home.”
With plans to open in early 2021, the 60,000 square foot gaming hub will be the first of its kind in the U.S. in terms of size and specific amenities. Although there are smaller esports arenas in Santa Ana, California and Los Angeles, the Philadelphia location is expected to mark the beginning of a “huge step for esports” according to Overwatch League Commissioner, Nate Nanzer.
The Populous-designed facility will feature a sleek exterior inspired by a combination of the rise in esports and the history of Philadelphia as the “workshop of the world.” Inside, spectators will be greeted with a large, interactive media surface hovering 30 feet overhead before making their way to two balcony bars, club seats with USB ports, flexible loge boxes, and exclusive suites.
“We’re thrilled to introduce a venue like no other as we move forward with the next phase of development within the Philadelphia Sports Complex,” said Dave Scott, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Spectacor. “Fusion Arena gives esports fans a best-in-class venue to call home and be proud of. Beyond competitive gaming, it’s a stunning facility that will host a wide array of events.”
The Overwatch League’s regular season runs from February to August with playoffs and championship games in September. During the off-season, Comcast Spectator expects to hold several other events like TED Talks and K-pop concerts.