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$50 Million Esports Arena on the Way in Philadelphia

Set to begin construction this summer, the 65,000 square-foot Fusion Arena is set to be the nation's first built-from-scratch professional video gaming arena.
April 15, 2019, 6am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Video game developer Blizzard Entertainment owns the professional esports Overwatch League
Marco Verch

The planned Esports Stadium Arlington may be larger, but Philly's Fusion Arena will be a space designed and built with esports in mind. "The 65,000-square-foot Fusion Arena will host home games for the Philadelphia Fusion, the professional nine-person team in the 20-team Overwatch League," Claire Tran writes.

The arena will cater to a growing market. "An estimated 250 million people watch esports, although most do so from the comfort of their homes. Global revenue is slated to hit $1.1 billion this year, and the industry is growing into a more social, spectator sport." Populous, the firm designing Fusion Arena, was also behind major traditional sports facilities including Yankee Stadium, Nationals Park, and Gillette Stadium.

While similar arenas already exist in Asia, Fusion will be the western hemisphere's first purpose-built esports venue. Tran discusses some of the design considerations that distinguish a dedicated esports facility from traditional sports venues, like better sight-lines to screens, soundproof booths for players, and common areas to let spectators stretch their legs during marathon competitions.

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Published on Monday, April 8, 2019 in CityLab
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