Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Flyers, is to announce Monday morning that it will construct the first arena for gaming fans in the U.S. for the Comcast-owned Fusion, company officials say.
The $50 million project is a testament to the surging popularity of esports, in which players compete in video games before large crowds. The company plans to break ground this summer on part of the 47-acre stadium complex site that Comcast Spectacor leases in South Philadelphia. The 3,500-seat arena will rise on a parking lot, next to Xfinity Live! and within walking distance of the Linc, Citizens Bank Park, and the Wells Fargo Center.
Nate Nanzer, commissioner of the 20-team Overwatch League, said there has never been a special-purpose esports arena “built anywhere. This is a huge step for esports. This is something we will see pop up all over the world.”
Besides housing Comcast’s Fusion, one of the Overwatch League’s teams, the venue is planned to be a major east coast hub for gaming events, company executives said.
The arena will mark the third major project that Comcast Spectacor is now undertaking on the site. It is renovating the Wells Fargo Center for $250 million and seeking tenants for a 10-story office tower, costing $80 million, also near Xfinity Live. The price tag for the three projects, including the new arena, is $380 million. The company may add yet more development on the site, say those with knowledge of the company’s thinking.