Ed Snider excited about next month’s grand opening of Xfinity Live!

If you would prefer to eat something other than hot dogs and beer at the ballpark, Comcast-Spectacor CEO Ed Snider suggests you try the restaurants at Xfinity Live!, which will open to the public March 30. Ticket holders to upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts will have exclusive access March 28-29.

Snider said he is not worried about filling Xfinity Live!, which will be open seven days a week from 11 to 2 a.m. and that he thinks the sports complex’s newest addition will be a destination for more than game ticket holders.

“People like to be around the action even if they are not coming to the games. I am going to be here when I am not at hockey games,” he said.

As you would expect from someone as successful as Snider, he fully researched the potential of Xfinity Live!, which was initially called Philly Live! before Xfinity bought the naming rights.

He said, “Eight million people visit these stadiums each year. The Real Sports Bar and Grill attached to the arenas in Toronto [Canada] was voted the No. 1 sports bar in America by ESPN viewers in 2010. Before opening, they had predicted they would get X [number of patrons] before and after the game and less during the game. To their surprise, they draw just as many people during the game.”

Drivers, who are tired of paying $15 to $20 for valet parking in the city, will be delighted to discover Xfinity Live’s policy of free parking one hour after the last stadium event begins. On the rare night that there is no event, parking will be free all night.

Centerpiece is indoor TV

If successful, Philadelphians can expect Xfinity Live! to expand.

“After the Spectrum was torn down, we were originally going to build a 300,000-square-foot complex. The bad economy affected our plans. We started with 55,000 square feet,” said Snider. “The plans for additions are already on the drawing board but nothing is definitive.”

The initial phase’s piece de resistance is the NBC Sports Arena, which will offer a stadiumlike viewing experience while dining. The bar’s centerpiece is a 32-foot LED HD television screen. South Dakota-based Daktronics installed it as well as the screens at Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field.

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