Fusion Arena: First purpose-built esports arena announced for US

Comcast Spectacor, The Cordish Companies and Populous have announced plans for a $50 million, next-generation esports and entertainment venue in the Philadelphia Sports Complex.

Fusion Arena will be home to the Philadelphia Fusion esports franchise, and will seat up to 3,500 guests and stand as the western hemisphere’s largest ground-up, purpose-built esports venue.

The attraction will host a variety of live entertainment programming and experiences, as well as competitive gaming events.

The Philadelphia Fusion esports franchise is one of 20 international teams competing in Activision’s Overwatch League, which is moving out of LA to new homes across the globe in a “huge step for eSports”.

“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, chairman and CEO, Comcast Spectacor.

“Fusion Arena gives esports fans a best-in-class venue to call home and be proud of. Beyond competitive gaming, it’s a stunning facility that will host a wide array of events.”

“It is a tremendous honour for The Cordish Companies to grow its partnership with Comcast Spectacor and bring a state-of-the-art, world-class esports and entertainment venue to the heart of the Philadelphia Sports Complex,” added Blake Cordish, principal of The Cordish Companies.

“Fusion Arena will set the gold standard for competitive gaming and debut on one of the country’s most exciting platforms of sports and entertainment amid Philadelphia’s professional sports teams.”

The technologically-advanced arena, designed by Populous, will add 60,000 square feet to the Philadelphia Sports Complex.

Featuring a futuristic design throughout, Fusion Arena will offer unique seating experiences, including two balcony bars, club seats with USB ports, flexible loge boxes and exclusive suites.

It’ll also boast a training facility, broadcast studio and team offices. Construction is set to begin this summer.

“Fusion Arena represents a watershed moment for the competitive gaming market,” said Populous’ 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.”

The growth of esports

Elsewhere, top gaming group Tencent is increasing its investment in esports tournaments in China, aided by subsidies from local governments.

Previously, Blooloop spoke with industry experts Professor Andy Miah and Brian Mirakian about the growth of esports and what this will mean for the visitor experience.

Image: Fusion Arena