The long-delayed Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia is now one step closer to becoming a reality. The property, an affiliate of the Maryland-based Cordish Companies, announced Gilbane Building Co. as the general contractor for the planned $700 million project.  The target opening date is late 2020.

The Gilbane team, a global, family-owned company, brings 145-plus years of experience to the project.

Joe Weinberg, the managing partner of the Cordish Companies, spoke about the decision to go with Gilbane in a press release:

“Gilbane was a natural fit for this project because the team is so experienced in the hospitality industry and they bring a real understanding of our vision. Their reputation for quality and dedication to excellence is a core value we both share and expect for a project of this magnitude. We look forward to getting started.”

The complex is located in the heart of the South Philadelphia Stadium District. It will be just footsteps away from where the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Sixers play their home games. When finished, the 1.5 million-square-foot facility will “transform the area into the first integrated sports, entertainment and casino resort destination in the region.”

There is a pre-bid contractor information session on for Jan. 11. Xfinity Live!, the 4.4-acre entertainment district located within the sports complex that Cordish and Comcast-Spectacor own together, will host the event.

Stadium Casino project’s complicated history

Many may be wondering what is taking so long. Stadium Casino LLC won a Pennsylvania statewide bid for a casino license back in November 2014.  The licensing process came about after the proposed Philadelphia-based  Foxwoods Casino project failed to secure financing. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board ended up revoking its license.

The other players, including SugarHouse along with the three other applicants, decided to take the matter to court. The issue in question was tied to whether or not Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment owner Bob Manoukian’s stake in the Bensalem-based Parx prohibited him from owning more than one-third of another casino in the Keystone State.

The gambling expansion law passed in October 2017 made way for Stadium to secure a license. However, the project reached another crisis point when Greenwood decided to walk away back in October of 2018.

More about the Stadium Casino project

When completed, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia will include 2,200 slots and electronic table games along with more than 150 live action table games. There will also be an upscale 200-plus room boutique hotel, nationally-recognized restaurants, and live entertainment venues.

In the short term, patrons will soon be able to place bets at the Greenwood-owned South Philadelphia Turf Club. The property is located across the street from the Live! Casino project. The retail sports betting operation will launch during the first quarter after Parx gets up and running. Parx plans to soft launch on Tuesday.

Live! in Maryland

Cordish is the company behind the other Live! Casino and Hotel located in Maryland. It’s located a little more than 100 miles south of Philadelphia. It features gaming, dining and entertainment options as well. The property has been open since June 2012.