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Nerd Street Gamers hopes its new corporate headquarters will make Philadelphia the most competitive gaming city in the country.
- North Philadelphia will soon be home to the world's first esport industry campus.
- Yeah, this is cool news. Alicia joins us in the studio with a sneak peek inside of Nerd Street Gamers' new corporate headquarters, Alicia.
ALICIA VITARELLI: Cool news and huge news for our city. The goal here is to make Philadelphia the most competitive gaming city in the country and to make gaming available to everyone. Nerd Street Gamers hosted a groundbreaking of sorts today, as they build what they call The Block.
Yep, banging right through those walls there. The Block at 401 North Broad Street in Spring Garden is a space for everyone from the professional gamer in a state-of-the-art arena to kids who will have access to free after-school play.
CEO John Fazio was born and raised here, and he's building it here for two reasons. First, to bring people together in person and allow them to compete on an even-playing field. The second, access.
JOHN FAZIO: Esports is a really exciting industry that we talk a lot about how awesome the opportunities are that come out of it from college scholarships to careers. But what we don't focus on is how right now it's an industry of privilege. In order to compete, you need to be able to afford the best possible hardware, the best possible equipment, the best possible internet.
And most people, unfortunately, in our area and in our country can't afford that.
ALICIA VITARELLI: So now, they'll have access to it. Nerd Street also teaming up with Parks and Rec and the Boys and Girls Club to give local kids more opportunity. They're going to get this Block ready and open as quickly as possible, Rick.
- Yeah, it's very exciting.
ALICIA VITARELLI: Big news.
- Thank you, Alicia.