Nerd Street Gamers breaks ground on world's first esports industry campus in Spring Garden

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- North Philadelphia will be the home to the world's first esports industry campus.

Nerd Street Gamers hopes its new corporate headquarters will make Philadelphia the most competitive gaming city in the country. They also hope it will make gaming available to everyone.

Nerd Street Gamers hosted a groundbreaking of sorts Wednesday as they build "The Block" at 401 North Broad Street in Spring Garden.

They say this 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 this for two reasons. The first is to bring people together in person and allow them to compete on an even playing field.

The second? Access.

"Esports is a really exciting industry," Fazio says. "We talk a lot about how awesome the opportunities are that come out of it, from college scholarships to careers. 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."

Nerd Street is also teaming up with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Boys and Girls Club to give local kids more opportunities.

They hope to have "The Block" ready and open as quickly as possible.
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