Startups

Nerd Street Gamers is partnering with Albright College to develop an on-campus esports facility

The 10,000-square-foot facility in Reading will be the growing Philly company's second collegiate partnership and the third Localhost in Pennsylvania.

A rendering of Albright College's to-be-developed esports facility.

(Image courtesy of Albright College)

Esports company Nerd Street Gamers is expanding its involvement with collegiate esports via a new partnership with Albright College.

The company will be developing a 10,00-square-foot gaming facility in Reading, where Albright is based. The facility will be outfitted with professional-grade gaming equipment for the college and the community to use. Once completed, it will be one of Nerd Street’s Localhost facilities, which means anyone from casual gamers to college students to high school teams to tournament organizers could use the space.

Nerd Street is working with CSL Esports on the venue, and the space’s design and development will come from firm MPG Impact Development.

The college will have access to private rooms for its esports teams, and for classroom space. The teams were founded in 2018, and by spring of 2019, Albright’s esports teams were competing in national Overwatch, Hearthstone and League of Legends competitions. Its Overwatch team recently earned a 3-1 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The new partnership will enhance the college’s existing esports curriculum across disciplines. That includes its computer science department; game and simulation majors; its business department; its sports management program; and the Albright Science Research Institute.

“Albright will be a regional leader in building a strong pipeline for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the expanding esports industry,” said Albright’s director of communications, Carey Manzolillo.

The Research Institute’s head, Adelle Shade, and head esports coach Joe Matto also worked with Nerd Street to bring CSL Esports’ curriculum into summer programming for middle and high school kids. The program filled up fast, and prompted Nerd Street to propose this expansion, Manzolillo said.

Nerd Street has previously worked with Rowan University in South Jersey to develop a 7,500-square-foot esports facility.

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“When paired with accessible facilities, collegiate esports programs create new opportunities for prospective students, enhance the school curriculum, and serve as a backbone to the surrounding communities,” said John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street, in a statement. “We’re excited to continue our national rollout with our second partner school, Albright College, to develop a state of the art esports facility that will house their school’s team, provide advanced education opportunities to their students, and be a hub for innovation in the surrounding community.”

The developers are looking at a few Albright properties for the forthcoming facility, which will house gaming PCs, consoles, keyboards, headphones, a stage for high-intensity competitions and a production studio for content creation, along with the classroom space for students and Albright’s esports teams.

In fall 2021, Nerd Street Gamers opened its gaming campus and HQ, The Block, on North Broad Street. The company is developing Localhost facilities across the country, with Albright’s facility as the third in Pennsylvania.

Companies: Nerd Street Gamers
People: John Fazio
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