Comcast Spectacor, owners of the Philadelphia Flyers, plan to spend $50 million to build the nation’s first esports arena for their Fusion Overwatch team, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Also not actually the nation’s first esports arena, notes Motherboard, because there’s already the Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas, which wasn’t built from scratch but was constructed in a converted event space. Also really not actually the nation’s first esports arena, because the Fusion, along with all the other teams in the Overwatch league, currently play at Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, which is basically a TV studio (and also “a crucible where champions become legends” but mostly a TV studio).
Also really really not actually the nation’s first esports arena, since Engadget reports it will “double as a venue for other live events,” so arguably it’s just a theater that will host Overwatch games, though I guess you could argue that Madison Square Garden is just a theater that hosts basketball and hockey games, too. The whatever-it-is will be built in the parking lot of the Flyers’ home arena, which Comcast Spectacor currently controls via a ground lease, which I haven’t been able to figure out how much the company pays in rent on in the amount of research time I have this morning, but even if it’s a sweetheart lease deal, it’s a sunk cost for taxpayers, so this arena won’t increase it.
Anyway, let’s get to the fun part, which is making fun of the Fusion arena renderings, armed with the newfound knowledge about greeblies and such that we learned yesterday:
So let’s see: We have a whole bunch of (or at least a couple dozen) fans headed into the arena wearing Fusion shirts, which, yep, checks out. One is wearing a jersey of a Fusion player named “Carpe,” which also checks out — here is his “player profile,” which, trigger warning if you’re not familiar with Overwatch, mostly consists of him shooting things with automatic weapons.
Beyond that, the strangest elements appear to be the fan in the foreground throwing their arms in the air for no particular reason — which is very much a Thing People In Sports Renderings Do — plus the couple who appear to already be done for the evening and are stumbling back away from the arena, unless they’re posing for a selfie being taken with a video camera?
Anyway, that image isn’t too entertaining — not even any fireworks! — so do we have any others?
Now we’re talking! Thundersticks! Luxury boxes! Spotlights illuminating nothing in particular! A person whose right hand appears to have actually mutated into a cell phone! I especially like how the renderers appear not to actually know what goes on in an esports arena, so the fans are all cheering wildly for what looks like a bunch of empty chairs behind a podium and a giant team photo. Or maybe they know damn well what goes on in an esports arena, but didn’t want to show people cheering on automatic weapons fire.