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Xfinity Live! plans spring opening

Three renowned entities announced updated plans for a massive entertainment district.

By Joseph Myers
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 3 | Posted Dec. 22, 2011

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The Xfinity Live! Philadelphia team hopes to lure millions of eager consumers to the sports complex.

Photo by Xfinity Live!

With the Flyers off to a fantastic start and Jimmy Rollins’ decision to remain with the Phillies, early April visitors to the South Philadelphia sports complex figure to arrive with abundant expectations.

Hoping to pair the area’s athletic prowess with culinary and entertainment options, Comcast-Spectacor, The Cordish Companies and Comcast Corp. representatives united at 1100 Pattison Ave. to disclose the first phase components of Xfinity Live! Philadelphia Dec. 15. Their project stands to use the address as a hub for 55,000 square feet of enjoyment and ingenuity.

Ladders, lifts and ropes met the eyes of the morning participants as they inspected space whose overseers are moving forward with a nearly four-year-old idea. Donning suits and hard hats, the guests will gladly swap their attire for shorts and caps when a collection of spots opens April 5.

Cordish is tackling its first stadium-area, $60-million endeavor minus any public subsidies and with an even financing split with Comcast-Spectacor. With a reputation for opulence, the Maryland behemoth soon may enjoy more success courtesy of the plan’s centerpiece, The Philly MarketPlace. The parties expect to add other eateries shortly, but Reed Cordish, vice president of the Baltimore-based company, practically glowed as he announced Chickie’s & Pete’s, Nick’s Roast Beef and The Original Philadelphia Cheesesteak Co. will halt hunger within the district’s largest open interior stretch. Custom draft tables, a raw bar, sports viewing availability and a VIP lounge will augment the area.

Dubbed “the crown jewel of Xfinity Live! Philadelphia,” the Spectrum Grille promises a sophisticated dining experience with chops, seafood and steaks. Nightly cocktail parties also will occur.

Gathered on the former site of the Spectrum, the lauded arena whose 44-year presence ended in May after six months of demolition, the prominent figures behind the deal addressed their brainchild’s role in building the local economy and bolstering the notion of South Philadelphia as a recreational destination.

“This is a great day for all of us,” Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko said of the latest step in actualizing a dream that began as Philly Live! in January 2008.

Lauding Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way; Lincoln Financial Field, 1101 Pattison Ave.; and the Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., he said the locations needed an amenity. That thinking spurred him and chairman Ed Snider to partner their 37-year-old sports and entertainment company with Cordish, the country’s largest developer of entertainment districts.

“We wanted an area for people to have some fun,” Luukko said in the vicinity of a section that should lead patrons’ crusades for contentment before, during or after a game or concert or separate from the existing venues’ offerings.

The current sites welcome eight million souls annually, Snider said, so the man whose company owns the Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center and four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks set out to sate physical and diversional appetites. After Luukko revealed the development will yield 750 full- and part-time jobs, Snider followed with a brief overview of the initial phase, which Cordish believes will have two successors. He noted the original 350,000-square-foot vision needed adjustments because of the rough economy but vowed that the first product will wow its attendees.

“This is the first phase of what is going to be a phenomenal complex,” the 78-year-old seer said.

He said the 1996 construction of the Wells Fargo Center helped Comcast-Spectacor to devise a deal with the City to look for what he termed a “connector,” an entity to assist with growth. He praised Cordish as the force that will help him to show his appreciation for South Philadelphia’s fervent sports fans and concertgoers.

“Xfinity Live! Philadelphia will be the most exciting venue of its type anywhere in the world,” he said.

The 48-year-old Comcast Corp. uses its namesake as the brand for its triple play design, comprising digital cable, cable Internet access and cable telephone services. Responsible for developing, producing and distributing entertainment, news and sports for global audiences as the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, it serves millions and will offer plenty of technological goodies to the local masses.

“This area has such potential, and this district will build upon the vibrancy and history of the South Philadelphia sports complex,” Comcast Cable’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Watson said.

 

A business centenarian at 101, Cordish has developed numerous urban entertainment zones in the United States — including St. Louis, Baltimore and Houston — and sought to add Philadelphia because of its possessing three key intangibles.

“We look for cities with great potential, tireless political leadership and local companies that could serve as operators,” Reed Cordish said as his father, David Cordish, nodded approvingly. “We found them in Philadelphia.”

Famous and perhaps infamous for their aggressive play, the Flyers won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and ’75 and will serve as the theme behind The Broad Street Bullies Pub, which will feature memorabilia from the franchise’s golden era and will offer a mix of gourmet hamburgers and traditional pub fare, along with nearly 50 drafts on tap. Live acoustic entertainment will make evening outings exercises in music appreciation.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 3 of 3
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1. Anonymous said... on Jan 11, 2012 at 11:35PM

“I hope the blacks don'r ruin this too. Just look what they did to the Riverview and look at the old Philly Rock now that a Warm dadddys. Please don't let the blacks ruin it”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:02AM

“Us white folks tear stuff up as well RETART..we get wasted and do the same..that comment was not needed”

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3. s r said... on Mar 30, 2012 at 01:19PM

“Been there already for preview:
Small and if its a packed night its gonna be tight....Looks like lots of fights will break out there eventually. Not very family friendly unless the family is over 21 and big drinkers and eaters.....it looks like a venue full of bars sort of like a bar court instead of a food court.......Wasn't extremely impress with it....The executive sheaf however was very nice.......And oh if you get drunk be careful not to fall over the upstairs rail it looks like a accident waiting to happen or perhaps having a bottle or spit land on you from there...”

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