The esports craze is gathering steam and planting a physical presence in cities around the world, including Philadelphia, where Comcast Spectator and The Cordish Companies have announced plans for a $50 million esports and entertainment venue. To be located in the heart of the Philadelphia Sports Complex, the first-of-its-kind complex will be the largest purpose-built esports arena in the Western Hemisphere, providing a home for the Philadelphia Fusion Overwatch esports team.

Fusion Arena, image courtesy of Comcast Spectacor/The Cordish Companies/Populous

Blake Cordish, Principal of The Cordish Companies, says Fusion Arena will "set the gold standard for competitive gaming." The Populous-designed building will host 3,500 seats and 60,000 square feet of new construction. The sleek exterior envelope "draws inspiration from the hardware powering esports' meteoric rise around the globe," reads a released statement. The usage of industrial materials pays homage to Philadelphia's "workshop of the world" heritage. The 6,000-square-foot entrance to the facility will usher guests under a 2,000-square-foot interactive media surface.

Fusion Arena, image courtesy of Comcast Spectacor/The Cordish Companies/Populous

The arena comes with all the bells and whistles of a typical professional sports complex, including two balcony bars, club seats with USB ports, flexible loge boxes and exclusive suites. Approximately 10,000 square feet of the footprint will be devoted to a training facility, broadcast studio and team offices.

"Fusion Arena represents a watershed moment for the competitive gaming market," said Populous Senior Principal Brian Mirakian. "We're taking our 35 years of designing iconic experiences for traditional sports—settings like Yankee Stadium—and applying those same principles of design to the virtual world of gaming."

Fusion Arena, image courtesy of Comcast Spectacor/The Cordish Companies/Populous

Fusion Arena will rise among a landscape of storied sports stadiums, including the Wells Fargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park and the retail/entertainment hub Xfinity Live! The Wells Fargo Center is the home of hockey's Philadelphia Flyers and baseketball's Philadelphia 76ers. Football's Philadelphia Eagles and soccer's Philadelphia Union play out of Lincoln Financial Field, while baseball's Philadelphia Phillies are based out of Citizens Bank Park.

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Related Companies:  Comcast Spectacor, Populous, The Cordish Companies