American sports and entertainment company Comcast Spectacor is set to construct a $50 million (£37.8 million) gaming arena – titled the Fusion Arena – to host its Overwatch League franchise, Philadelphia Fusion, with the goal of opening in 2021.
Comcast Spectacor bought in to Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues’ franchised league for Overwatch ahead of its inaugural season, alongside 11 other investors and organisations.
Comcast Spectacor is reportedly planning to start building the Fusion Arena on its 47-acre stadium complex site in the summer. It’ll be able to seat 3,500 audience members, located near dining and entertainment venue Xfinity Live! and the Wells Fargo Center.
Sports and entertainment architecture firm Populous – which also designed the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and London Olympics stadium – is designing the Fusion Arena, which is expected to sell naming rights.
As well as acting as the home venue for Philadelphia Fusion, the arena will also be suited towards hosting esports events and music concerts. It’s reported that Comcast Spectacor expects it to host around 120 events on an annual basis.
Earlier this month, Nate Nanzer, Commissioner of Overwatch League revealed that the competition would be executing on its original plan to host home and away matches from 2020. Since the Fusion Arena won’t be constructed by then, the Philadelphia Fusion will be playing out of temporary venues – per the report.
Esports Insider says: This is the first big development to come out of Overwatch League’s plans to finally host matches in teams’ home venues. While the stadium won’t be built until 2021 – if things go to plan – this is a big deal and could help to make Philadelphia a hotspot for gaming and esports moving forward. We do, however, expect more stories such as this from other franchises in the coming months.