High Hopes at Philly’s New ‘Mall of Sports Bars’

mall of sports bar

Below is a news summary by Ben Prevallet, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.

(from Sports Business Journal, April 16, 2012) South Philadelphia recently kicked off the first day of the MLB season with a big bang. The newly built, Xfinity Live! Complex, had fans lining up two-and-a-half hours before game time, to watch their beloved Phillies play 300 miles West, in Pittsburgh. The complex was built on the site of the old Spectrum, and has an array of restaurants and bars that will draw sports fans when teams are playing nearby at Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, and the Wells Fargo Center.

The complex cost $31 million, and contains a variety of indoor and outdoor dining venues, across a 60,000-square-foot site, in the shadow of Philadelphia’s sports venues. The main attraction is a 24-foot-wide Sony high-definition screen in the center of the complex that combines all the dining areas. Xfinity Live! also includes an outdoor stage, which Third Eye Blind opened the building with a concert on March 30. “People talk a lot about the noise level, but the best description I’ve heard so far is that it’s a mall of sport bars,” said Sean McKinney, President of Mitchell & Ness, which has a 700-square-foot store in the complex decorated with what was the 76ers home court, along with Spectrum dasher boards. “This has become a place where you have got to be if you are a sports fan, certainly if there’s an away game.”

Certainly, the Philadelphia sports complex’s “fourth stadium,” is enjoying early success based on geography and traffic. The complex is projecting more than $25 million in sales for their first year. Xfinity Live! has also collected more than $15 million in contractually obligated income, which in this case is a combination of cash, media, and barter for products from sponsors including Pepsi, Miller Coors, Verizon Wireless, and Sony. Reed Cordish says “The key to future versions of Xfinity Live!,is that it has to be a place people will come to even when they don’t have a ticket to an event. If we are able to do that, and I think we have early on, it could work in a lot of cities.”