Live! Philly employee 'Bella-cast' adds to Eagles home-game coverage; Billy Strings to Hard Rock Atlantic City
There were countless regional public locations where Eagles fans could have watched the team’s recent loss to the Washington Commanders on Monday Night Football. But Live! Casino-Hotel Philadelphia was the only place they could have received expert analysis from Bella Tierce while doing so.
Tierce, 26, is an advertising coordinator for the South Philly gaming hall. But since the 2022 NFL season began in September, she has also served as the host and commentator for those who choose to watch the Birds’ home games at Center Bar, Live’s casino-floor lounge where patrons can follow the action on 17 screens arranged in two circles above the bar.
Each time the Birds play at nearby Lincoln Financial Field, Tierce and a special guest—always a former Eagles player—set up at what amounts to a mini TV studio located opposite the bar. During commercial breaks and at halftime, Tierce and her guest du jour break down, and offer opinions on, significant aspects of the game.
For the ultimately disappointing contest against the Commanders, Tierce was joined by Irving Fryar, a five-time Pro Bowler as a receiver who played for the Eagles in the 1990s. Their between-action discussions--which focused on such topics as both teams’ sometimes puzzling play-calling and the Eagles’ game-long struggle to figure out Commanders’ quarterback Taylor Heinicke—was as informed and insightful as any available on the numerous broadcast outlets and digital platforms available to fans.
According to Tierce, her “Bella-casts,” which are part of the gambling den’s Game Days at Live! series of Eagles-related activities and promotions, grew out of the property’s proximity to the Linc.
“We really focused on what we could do to capitalize on being neighbors with the Eagles,” said Tierce, who like so many in the Delaware Valley, bleeds midnight green this time of year. “We wanted to give people who maybe couldn’t get tickets a game-day experience.”
Tierce’s participation in the program began when her manager asked if she would be interested in hosting the closed-circuit telecasts that are screened on TVs located throughout the casino. “I have a background in broadcasting. I was a newscaster in Southeast Iowa,” she offered. “And being a very passionate sports fan, it was like the perfect storm for me.”
While Tierce clearly relishes the opportunity to show off both her broadcasting skills and football knowledge, she admitted it’s not all fun and games. “It feels like a second full-time job,” she said of the preparation that’s required in order to ensure she speaks with authority and credibility. And, she noted, working with a different guest commentator each time is a challenge as she has to adjust to each individual’s speaking style and comfort level (future guests are TBA; check Live!’s social media for updates).
Another issue that keeps her on her toes is her lack of personal relationships with her guests. “I haven’t met any of these gentlemen prior to working with them,” she said, “so you don’t always know what kind of answers they’re going to give.”
“Fortunately,” she added, “I have a news background and I’m used to ‘active listening’” which, she suggested, helps her keep the conversations on track.
Despite her enthusiasm for her current job, Tierce hasn’t ruled out one day leaving the gaming industry for a full-time gig in sports broadcasting.
“The ultimate goal is getting to that level,” she said. “If I had my way, I’d definitely be a sports commentator and broadcaster.”
You can join Tierce and her special guests at Live! on Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Jan. 1 and Jan. 8, as well as for any home playoff games in which they may appear.
There are still weeks left in 2022, but that hasn’t stopped the region’s casinos from developing their 2023 headliner calendars. As a matter of fact, some pretty big names are on tap.
Perhaps the most anticipated engagement of the New Year so far is that of bluegrass phenom Billy Strings, who will play three nights (Feb. 16-18) at the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City. Also headed to the Rock are Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton (Jan. 14) and ‘70s jazz-poppers Chicago (April 15).
Elsewhere, look for another vocalizing icon, Engelbert Humperdinck, to perform Feb. 4 at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, while actor-comic host Ken Jeong hits Parx in Bensalem, Pa. Jan. 20. Country titans Big & Rich play there the following night.
Another noteworthy booking is that of On Your Feet—The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. The Broadway musical bio about the chart-topping couple is scheduled for May 7 at Tropicana Atlantic City.
Watch this space for more bookings.
Mobster’s appearance whacked
First, the Nov. 19 appearance by former Mafia chieftain Michael Franzese at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel was moved to Feb. 10. Now comes word the engagement has been cancelled. But mobophiles needn’t worry; our spies tell us a new AyCee date/venue is in the works.