Albright College is moving forward with its plans to create a new state-of-the-art collegiate esports facility at the corner of 13th and Richmond Streets, in the College Heights neighborhood of Reading, Pa., in collaboration with Nerd Street, the national esports infrastructure company, and Playfly Esports.
The new 6,800 square foot esports venue will make professional grade gaming equipment available to community members – from casual gamers and those new to the esports scene, to high school teams and esports tournament organizers. MPG Impact Development will partner with Albright College to design and develop the property.
Included in the new venue will be 60 gaming stations, a five-versus-five stage, a cafe, team room, and offices.
Nerd Street and Playfly Esports are known for launching the largest collegiate esports league in the world, NACE Starleage, with nearly 20,000 students and 800 schools participating during the 22′-23′ school year, of which Albright College’s esports team is a member.
“We’re excited to continue our national rollout to develop the collegiate esports scene 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,” said John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street.
In addition to classrooms and private rooms for Albright College’s esports teams, the new venue will serve as a fully functioning Nerd Street Localhost. These gaming venues provide the highest quality gaming equipment and peripherals, including PCs, consoles, keyboards, headphones and more. With locations across the country, Nerd Street’s Localhosts provide critical infrastructure for the gaming community. These venues are the sites of weekly programming and camps for local communities and national tournaments for aspiring esports pros. In line with this vision, the Albright College esports hub will also boast open sessions for Albright students, a stage for high-level competitions and a production studio for content creation.
“We are thrilled about this partnership and the expanded athletic and academic opportunities that it brings to Albright’s students,” said Albright President Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. “Not only will it be a catalyst for our popular varsity esports team, it will inspire synergies with our computer science department, enhance our game and simulation major, and provide hands-on learning experiences for K-12 Total Experience Learning students and others interested in the esports industry. This will be a welcoming, exciting new venue for the surrounding community.”
“With these investments, Albright College is firmly establishing itself as a preeminent esports program in the region. The meaningful implementation of the esports curriculum will help create a pipeline for students who are keen on making a career in the burgeoning esports industry and related fields,” said Playfly Esports Head of Sales and Marketing and Berks County native, Charles O’Donnell.
Named a top national college by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, Albright College (founded 1856) is home to a diverse community of learners who cultivate integrity, curiosity, connection and resilience. Through learning experiences that engage a student’s creative and innovative capacities across all disciplines, both inside and outside of the classroom, an Albright College education guarantees that each student learns how to engage the world, understand the world, and is prepared to make an impact on a rapidly changing world. Located in Reading, Pa., Albright is home to undergraduate students, adult learners and graduate students.