The long-awaited second Philadelphia casino is about to break ground at the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia. Ever since gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania in 2004, the City of Philadelphia was slated to have two casinos. While the SugarHouse Casino was built on the Delaware River waterfront in Fishtown years ago, the second casino site was not chosen until 2014 and had been held up due to legal issues. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board chose a proposal by Cordish Companies to be located at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex for the city’s second casino, but officials at SugarHouse were concerned about competition and sued because one of the investors owns the Parx Casino in Bensalem. SugarHouse dropped their lawsuit last week after Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that ended the prohibition of dual ownership of casinos in Pennsylvania. That means that the casino in South Philadelphia can proceed and the developers expect to break ground in 2018 and be complete by 2020.
The new casino would be called Live! Hotel and Casino and the development company is called Stadium Casino LLC. It would be located at 9th Street and Pattinson Avenue, between Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park. Cordish Companies, also, owns Xfinity Live! entertainment and restaurant complex, nearby on Pattinson Avenue. The casino would have 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games. The hotel will have 200 guest rooms. The complex will have restaurants, a nightclub lounge that would likely serve drinks all night allowed by state law, and a live entertainment center with acts and performers booked by LiveNation, a company that could book big stars. The developers promise an upscale casino and hotel. The exterior will have a golden hue and undulating features, as well as, curving digital screens and colorful lighting. There will be a 2,600 space parking garage, but the Broad Street subway is nearby.
The Live! Hotel and Casino will diversify the entertainment options at the Sports Complex and have a significant impact on the economy of South Philadelphia and real estate demand in South Philadelphia neighborhoods. Cordish Companies, also, plans to expand Xfinity Live! with more entertainment, restaurants, nightlife, and possibly retail. Many casino and hotel employees will likely live nearby and many people will choose to live in South Philadelphia for the added entertainment and nightlife, encouraging new development in surrounding areas, including the Navy Yard. The Live! Hotel and Casino will be a big addition to Philadelphia’s entertainment scene and economy.
By, Gabriel Gottlieb