PHILADELPHIA, November 9, 2021 — Nerd Street Gamers (Nerd Street) announced today the official public opening of the nation’s first esports campus, The Block, will take place on Saturday, November 13, 2021 in Philadelphia, PA. The space located at 401 North Broad Street is not only Nerd Street’s new global headquarters, but also houses Localhost, Nerd Street’s dedicated esports arena, which will both showcase pro gaming events for spectators and be open to the public for hourly gameplay, tournaments, summer camps, and more.
With more than two-thirds of the American population — 227 million people on average — playing video games on a daily basis, Nerd Street continues to pave the way in bringing this community together by providing real world opportunities for gamers and connecting them with the technology needed to compete. Over the last eight months, Nerd Street has renovated the 40,000+ square foot space to house a main stage with seating for hundreds of spectators, gaming equipment for public usage, dedicated areas for teams to train, educational space for community partners, and professional grade studios for Nerd Street to continue delivering award-winning broadcasts, videos, and other esports content.
“The future of esports depends on providing more gamers with affordable access to the expensive equipment required to compete,” said John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. “Sports and competition are a primary pathway to success for young kids, but unfortunately esports is inaccessible to most because of the high cost of equipment. With The Block, we are providing a space that both provides access to technology needed to compete, and demonstrates that the skills acquired during game play can translate into successful careers and life skills.”
The second floor of The Block will house the Susquehanna Sonics pro esports team’s home training facility, opening next year, as well as production studios that power Nerd Street’s Emmy Award-winning shows, as seen on ESPN and NBC Sports. The esports campus will provide the space and technology to power programs for educational institutions and local organizations like Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs, Jefferson Health’s Center for Autism and Neurodiversity, TechGirlz, TeamAltemus, and Aim Lab.
Beyond the work being done with partner organizations in the local community, Nerd Street has partnered with professional athletes, such as NFL stars Emmanuel Sanders and, most recently, Juju Smith-Schuster as brand ambassadors for the company. Both athletes are passionate gamers that have dedicated themselves to providing access to resources for underserved youth, such as high-speed gaming equipment, in an effort to create new opportunities for children regardless of socioeconomic status. Both ambassadors have been critical in helping spread the message that esports offers the same opportunities as traditional sports, including scholarships, professional careers, and more.
The Block grand opening news also marks a major milestone for Philadelphia itself, as the city’s fast-growing gaming community is making it a global esports hub in its own right. Nerd Street is furthering its commitment to its hometown, aiming to leverage its existing partnerships with teams and publishers to bring some of the highest profile gaming events in the world to Philly.
“Philadelphia has always been a sports-obsessed city — it’s at the very heart of our city’s identity,” said Fazio. “And now we are seeing a major boom and passionate adoption of esports here — from high schools adding esports teams to the city being chosen to host the Overwatch Grand Finals in 2019. Nerd Street is here to help local programs grow, and ultimately provide a turn-key facility that is ready to host esports events of all sizes. It’s a really exciting time for the City of Philadelphia as it continues to evolve as a tech hub, and now an esports hotspot.”
Global firm Populous led the design of The Block, using global esports experience to incorporate state-of-the-art and intentional spaces, a high level of flexibility, eye-catching brand activation and a focus on drawing people together through the love of gaming.
The Block will open to the general public on Saturday, November 13, 2021, starting with a grand opening from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. The event will include free entry, with the first 200 people through the doors receiving various giveaways, such as free gameplay and mousepads. Throughout the day, there will be ongoing free gameplay for the general public, giveaways and raffles, and facility tours. Additionally, fans can enjoy spectating the Nerd Street Winter Championships qualifier tournament in Counter Strike:Global Offensive, a 5v5 competitive game, that will be taking place during the grand opening, as well as a Super Smash Bros. tournament beginning at 1:00 PM.
Beyond the grand opening, Nerd Street has a number of tournaments and events scheduled to take place in the Localhost area of The Block through the end of 2021 and into early 2022. For more information on upcoming events and The Block, follow @nerdstreet on Twitter or visit nerdstreet.com.
About Nerd Street Gamers
Nerd Street is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. Through Localhost, its gaming and esports centers across the country, the company provides opportunities for gamers of all ages and skill levels to participate in esports tournaments, camps, team training, private events, and hourly play for a wide variety of video games. Nerd Street has received backing from Five Below, Comcast Spectacor, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Ventures, angel investor George Miller, and Founders Fund.
Brownstein Group on behalf of
Nerd Street Gamers