The Philadelphia Fusion of the Overwatch League has announced that it will take up residence in the first purpose-built esports arena in the Western hemisphere, a $50 million "next-generation esports and entertainment venue" that will give the team a home amidst those of the Phillies, the Flyers, the 76ers, and the Eagles.
The 60,000 square foot Fusion Arena will seat up to 3500 spectators, and along with Overwatch League action will also host "a variety of live entertainment programming and experiences." Externally, the arena "draws inspiration from the hardware powering esports’ meteoric rise around the globe," with 2000 square feet of "interactive media surface"—which I assume is the esports equivalent of a Jumbotron—hanging 30 feet above the entry area. Inside will be two balcony bars, suites and loge box seating, and a dedicated training facility, broadcast studio, and team offices.
"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," Blake Cordish of Xfinity Live! developer The Cordish Companies said in a statement. "Today’s announcement marks an exciting moment for the Comcast Spectacor-Cordish partnership as the next phase of Xfinity Live! continues to unfold."
Fusion owner Comcast Spectacor didn't say when the doors are scheduled to open, but the Overwatch League announced earlier this month that full home-and-away play, meaning that teams will actually play in their home cities rather than sharing the Blizzard Arena, will begin in 2020.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.