Massive sports bar part of plan for former Spectrum site

A shipment of steel has arrived at the site where the Spectrum sports arena once stood. The steel will figure in constructing the framework of a new entertainment complex called Philly Live!

When it was presented three years ago, the grand vision for Philly Live! seemed like a cross between the King of Prussia Mall and Xanadu–an enormous, 350,000-square-foot destination with theaters, shops and lots of restaurants.

What’s under construction now is less than a sixth of that size, with a promise of more to come.

“Philly Live! sort of connects the Citizens Bank Park to the Wells Fargo Center in a way that it will be an entertainment district,” said Ike Richman of Comcast Spectacor, which owns the site. “Phase one, which we anticipate opening in April, will be a 50,000-square-foot space with 10 dining options, and the largest sports bar anywhere in America.”

Richman could not say how large that sports bar will be, nor what restaurants will occupy the complex. No plans have yet been released for subsequent phases of Philly Live!

Current construction–just to the east of what used to be the Spectrum–is expected to be completed next spring. The footprint of the Spectrum will become a parking lot.

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