Rendering of Fusion Arena, new online esports arena planned for Philadelphia, PA Rendering of Fusion Arena, newonline esports arena planned for Philadelphia, PA

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PHILADELPHIA, PA—Professional onlinemultiplayer computer gaming is gaining additional validation as alegitimate spectator sport with the announcement Monday thatComcast Spectacor and The CordishCompanies will build a $50 million, next-generationesports and entertainment venue in the heart of thePhiladelphia Sports Complex.

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Adjacent to Xfinity Live!, thefirst-of-its-kind venue will seat up to 3,500 guests and stand asthe largest new-construction, purpose-built esports arena in theWestern Hemisphere. Its primary tenant, the PhiladelphiaFusion esports franchise, is one of 20 international teamscompeting in the Overwatch League. According tothe Overwatch League website, “Overwatch is anintense 6v6 action game that emphasizes teamwork and individualskill. Players choose heroes with diverse and powerful abilities,then clash on a variety of maps set in famous locations across theglobe.”

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In addition to serving as a premiere destination for competitivegaming events, Fusion Arena will also host avariety of live entertainment programming and experiences.

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“We're thrilled to introduce a venue like no other as we moveforward with the next phase of development within thePhiladelphia Sports Complex,” says DaveScott, chairman and CEO, ComcastSpectacor.  “Fusion Arena givesesports fans a best-in-class venue to call home and be proud of.Beyond competitive gaming, it's a stunning facility that will hosta wide array of events.”

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“It is a tremendous honor for The CordishCompanies to grow its partnership with ComcastSpectacor and bring a state-of-the-art, world-classesports and entertainment venue to the heart of thePhiladelphia Sports Complex,” says BlakeCordish, principal of The CordishCompanies. “Fusion Arena will set thegold standard for competitive gaming and debut on one of thecountry's most exciting platforms of sports and entertainment amidPhiladelphia's professional sports teams.”

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Designed by Populous, an architecture firm withdeep experience in the fast-growing esports space, FusionArena will include 60,000 square feet of new construction,featuring a stunning and futuristic design throughout. Constructionis set to begin this summer.

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Rendering of interior of Fusion Arena, esports complex planned for Philadelphia, PA Rendering of interior of FusionArena, esports complex planned for Philadelphia, PA

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Fusion Arena represents a watershed moment forthe competitive gaming market,” says Populoussenior principal Brian Mirakian. “We're taking our35 years of designing iconic experiences for traditionalsports—settings like Yankee Stadium—and applyingthose same principles of design to the virtual world ofgaming.”

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The arena's exterior is planned to draw inspiration from thehardware powering esports' meteoric rise around the globe. Theincorporation of industrial materials throughout FusionArena's design pays tribute to Philadelphia's heritage asthe “workshop of the world.” A captivating 6,000-square-foot publicentry will greet guests as they enter the space and includes 2,000square feet of interactive media surface hovering 30 feet abovethem.

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The technologically advanced arena will offer unique seatingexperiences including two balcony bars, club seats with USB ports,flexible loge boxes and exclusive suites. Additionally, nearly10,000 square feet will be dedicated to a training facility,broadcast studio and team offices. The training facility isexpected to offer unrivaled experiences and developmentopportunities for players.

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“We are thrilled to bring this ambitious idea to life andcelebrate the arrival of Fusion Arena with gamingenthusiasts throughout the region and beyond,” says JoeMarsh, chief business officer of SpectacorGaming and the Philadelphia Fusion. “Thisproject places esports alongside all the major traditional sportsthat call South Philadelphia home.”

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Fusion Arena arrives just as the WellsFargo Center is in the midst of “Transformation 2020,” anextensive, multi-year $250 million renovation initiative.Fusion Arena adds $50 million of new developmentwithin Philadelphia'sSports Complex, complementing a transformed WellsFargo Center, Lincoln Financial Field and CitizensBank Park.

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Fusion Arena is the second of severalannouncements surrounding Comcast Spectacor andThe Cordish Companies' real estate developmentwithin the Philadelphia Sports Complex. InFebruary, the partnership announced plans for PattisonPlace, an $80 million, new construction class-A officetower. Since opening in 2012, Xfinity Live! hasbeen a prominent dining, entertainment and hospitality anchor forthe region, dramatically changing the fan experience for Flyers,Eagles, Phillies and 76ers fans, as well as out of town guests.Welcoming millions of visitors a year, XfinityLive! has energized the Philadelphia SportsComplex via year-round events and experiences includingconcerts, festivals, family fun days, community functions, charityevents, and watch parties.

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Steve Lubetkin

Steve Lubetkin is the New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com. He is currently filling in covering Chicago and Midwest markets until a new permanent editor is named. He previously filled in covering Atlanta. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. His audio and video work for GlobeSt.com has been honored by the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced audio podcasts on CRE topics for the NAR Commercial Division and the CCIM Institute. Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies. Steve also reports on-camera and covers conferences for NJSpotlight.com, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC. Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996. Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional. You can email Steve at [email protected].