$50M esports arena coming to Philadelphia
Comcast Spectacor and The Cordish Companies are building a $50 million, 3,500-seat esports arena in Philadelphia.
The Fusion Arena will be next to Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park and the mixed-use Xfinity Live! development.
“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, Comcast Spectacor’s chairman and CEO.
Xfinity Live! is also a joint venture between Comcast Spectacor and Cordish, which specializes in real estate developments around stadiums and arenas.
Architecture firm Populous designed the 60,000-square-foot venue, which will be home to the Philadelphia Fusion, an esports team owned by Comcast Spectacor that competes in the Overwatch League. The league wants its teams to play in their home markets next year. The Fusion are looking at playing at other venues in Philadelphia while the new esports venue is being built.
Construction will start this summer on a site currently used as a parking lot and the venue is scheduled to open in 2021. The Fusion facility will have a 10,000-square-foot esports training facility as well as two balcony bars, a broadcast studio and premium boxes and suites.
The venue will be rigged to also host small concerts, comedy shows and corporate events, said Joe Marsh, chief business officer for Comcast Spectacor’s gaming division and the Fusion.
Populous also designed the $10 million Esports Stadium Arlington, a 100,000-square-foot gaming space built at the Arlington Convention Center hear Dallas.
“We’ve reached a place now where there is a need for purpose-built esports venues,” said Brian Mirakian, a senior principal with Populous. “This project represents the prototype of the future.”
Cordish Principal Blake Cordish expects to see more esports projects like the one in Philadelphia. “This flagship esports venue will perfectly complement the surrounding anchors in the Philadelphia Sports Complex,” Cordish said. “The Cordish Companies is extremely bullish about the future of esports, especially when integrated into mixed-use, sports-anchored developments.”