The South Philadelphia Sports Complex is about to get a little more crowded after Comcast Spectator and the Cordish Companies announced their plans to build an esports arena across the street from Xfinity Live! The $50 million venue will be home to Comcast’s Overwatch League team, the Philadelphia Fusion.
As the largest esport arena in the Western Hemisphere, the Fusion Arena will mark “a huge step for esports” according to Overwatch League Commissioner, Nate Nanzer. Gamers will now have the opportunity to take advantage of training facilities, a broadcast studio, and team offices all in one place. And spectators themselves will get to watch all of the action go down from one of the 3,500 available seats.
Comcast has ambitious plans to get the arena up and running by 2021, so those heading down to a Phillies game this summer will likely be able to catch a glimpse of the early stages of development. And once it’s finished, the exterior of the Populous-designed facility will look sort of like a giant gaming console. On the inside, guests will be welcomed by an interactive media surface hovering 30 feet overhead before they make their way to two balcony bars, club seats with USB ports, flexible loge boxes, and exclusive suites.
The Overwatch League season runs from February to August with playoffs and the championship game taking place in September. And when the team’s not hosting matches, the facility will be used for several other live events like TED Talks and K-pop concerts.
The Fusion Arena marks the second series of new construction coming to the South Philly Sports Complex. Comcast Spectator and the Cordish companies also announced plans for a new Class-A office tower called Pattison Place to rise up next to Xfinity Live.
Although parking and traffic might become even more of a nightmare around there, it’s really an exciting time for the city as a whole. In terms of the Fusion Arena, one thing’s that for sure though is that the esports complex will have some pretty big shoes to fill if they’re setting up camp next to several former champions.