The Overwatch League team Philadelphia Fusion will be the first team in the league to have its own dedicated esports arena after Comcast Spectacor announced plans for the venue, which is set to become available for the Overwatch League 2021 season.
The new venue will be called the Fusion Arena and will be located in Southern Philadelphia inside the Xfinity Live! dining and entertainment complex. It is set to accommodate an audience of 3,500 people, as well as 60,000-square-foot space will house a 10,000 square-foot dedicated training facility and a 6,000-square-foot public entry area featuring a 2,000 square feet interactive media surface.
Introducing Fusion Arena: a $50 million first-of-its-kind venue and the largest new-construction, purpose-built esports arena in the Western Hemisphere. It will be home to the Philadelphia @Fusion & stand alongside the home venues of Philly's beloved teams in the Sports Complex pic.twitter.com/ckxEiYxgLW— Comcast Spectacor (@ComcstSpectacor) March 25, 2019
According to Joe Marsh, chief business officer for Spectacor Gaming and Philadelphia Fusion, the Fusion Arena’s training facility will feature a broadcast studio, office and VOD review spaces, private streaming areas for players, and an exclusive player lounge.
While all Overwatch League teams represent different cities around the world, they have all played at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles since the league’s inaugural season in 2018. However, the league plans to have its teams fully play home and away games in their respective arenas — a practice that is commonplace in traditional sports — by its 2020 season.
Since the Fusion won’t be able to play in its home arena until 2021, the team has been exploring temporary accommodations for the 2020 season.
Once the Fusion Arena has been built however, the team plans to host amateur, collegiate, and professional esports events in it while the team is playing on “away” games or during the Overwatch League’s offseason.
The Philadelphia Fusion was one of the grand finalists of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season, losing to the London Spitfire in the finals at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The team’s owner, Comcast Spectacor, notably partnered with the prominent South Korean esports organization SK Telecom T1 for a joint venture known as T1 Entertainment & Sports in February.