Comcast Spectacor to open $50M Esports arena

Angus Nordlund, Staff Writer

Last week a large organization dropped a bombshell of an announcement. Comcast Spectacor, a company that owns multiple big sports teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers, and 76ers, and is prominent within the sports and entertainment industry, announced plans to build a $50 million
esports specific arena, with the intention of building hometown stadium for their esports team the Philadelphia Fusion.

The Fusion who play in the OWL (Overwatch League), while having a strong fanbase in Philadelphia, have not been able to play in the city due to there being both lack of playing space and the need for all the teams to play in one area due to lack of playing space in other regions. Now, with the recent announcement by the league’s commissioner, Nate Nanzer, of there beings plans for there to be home and away games in cities across the U.S., next season, there is a chance for the Fusion along with other teams to be closer to their designated cities, as long as arenas and venues are built.

The arena, while not being the largest, is still quite impressive. The 47-acre complex is set to seat at least 3,500 fans and audience members, along with containing both a training facility and broadcast studio, as well as team offices. Concept art has also shown that there are to be balcony, club and lodge seating, and even executive suites, like a more traditional sports venue. Thought this does seem to be the intention of the company.

Especially with Joe Marsh, Chief Business Officer of Spectacor Gaming and the Philadelphia Fusion, stating, “This project places Esports alongside all the major traditional sports that call South Philadelphia home.”

That could be taken in both figurative or even literal context, since the arena is to be sited right in the middle of all the other major sports stadiums in Philadelphia.

What makes this announcement so special and unique, is that it is the first of it’s kind to grace the west. As stated in an article by Comcast Spectacor, in which they go over the new arena, its “First-of-Its-Kind Venue Will Stand as the Largest, New-Construction, Purpose-Built Esports Arena in the Western Hemisphere.”

With that said, many are hopeful that this will be the beginning of a new generation of Esports specific stadiums, and with Esports revenue skyrocketing in recent years, it would only help to increase that rise significantly. As a result, popularity would most likely spike and more investors would seek out teams to sponsor, which would only help the industry grow tremendously. Along with the predicted success, the arena is also planned to host not only Esport related events, but concerts as well, with around 120 total events annually.

Though the arena won’t be fully prepared until 2021, forcing the Fusion to play at temporary facilities until then, from what has been said, it should be well worth the wait, and with other cities who own teams to be given the chance to host games as well, there should be more announcements of stadiums in the coming months.

Link to concept art of the arena: