Competitive video games are growing like crazy around the world, particularly in East Asia, but now the first ever free-standing esports arena is being built in the Western Hemisphere, set to house the Overwatch League of the Philadelphia Fusion, with a target start date of 2021.
The stadium, priced at $50 million is a 60,000-square-foot venue which will have 3,500 seats, a 10,000-square-foot training center and a broadcast venue. It will host other events in addition to Overwatch, including other esports tournaments and concerts.
The spaces, looking like conference centers, are popping up all over the world, where teams from the US, Europe, and Asia face off in head-to-head matches—and the teams can bring home millions of dollars in prize money.
In an attempt to create a venue sought after by gamers and fans, Comcast and real estate developer Cordish Cos required space for large LED screens, sophisticated sound systems, cooling systems for all the computers and monitors.
Comcast originally explored retrofitting a warehouse before it realized that a dedicated space would be needed to meet all of the required specifications.
The ability to expand and repurpose the site is important, as the Philadelphia Fusion only has 14 home matches per year.
The designers also participated in the building of the Yankee Stadium and the London Olympic venues.
“The Fusion Arena is a watershed moment for competitive gaming and the live entertainment experience and will set a new standard for esports and live entertainment venues.”