In early April 2019, it was announced that Overwatch League team Philadelphia Fusion will be getting a $50 million stadium. The stadium will be the first of its kind in the United States and will allow Philadelphia Fusion owners Comcast Spectacor to capitalize on the team’s huge fanbase. When it opens in 2021, the arena will make history.
Will Philadelphia Fusion Fans Be Able to Fill the Stadium?
Philadelphia Fusion’s brand-new stadium will have a capacity of 3,600. While that seems like a lot of room for a team that was only created in 2017, and for a relatively new esports league too, it could be packed to the rafters.
Philadelphia has a huge sports scene, and while this is mostly because of the Super Bowl-winning NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, the support the city has for the Phillies (MLB), Flyers (NHL) and 76ers (NBA) means that there is a built-in sporting culture ready to embrace Philadelphia Fusion too. It could also draw in fans who aren’t usually into esports, with online esports betting gaining popularity and helping to make the genre more accessible. With betting sites offering bonuses and free bets, people have an extra reason to follow esports and attend Fusion games other than just out of hometown pride.
How Else Can the Stadium Make Money?
Comcast Spectacor can, of course, make its money back from selling out tickets every time Philadelphia Fusion plays home games. However, that’s not the only way that the team’s parent company will be able to recoup these funds and potentially make more money than it has invested.
Other Overwatch League teams have corporate sponsors, with Houston Outlaws naming grocery chain H-E-B as its new sponsor. While H-E-B and many other sponsors display their brands on the team’s logos, with the team making sponsorship revenue, ad banners in a stadium are another option. With games being streamed to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of fans around the world as well, sponsors may potentially pay big bucks to put their ads in Philadelphia Fusion’s new stadium.
Philadelphia Fusion’s stadium may be the first of its kind, but it is unlikely to be the last. All of esports (including outside of the Overwatch League) is gaining a fanbase, meaning that there will be a growing need for esports arenas and ways for fans to meet up and celebrate their favourite teams, together.