It’s been nearly a year since the Arizona Diamondbacks embarked upon their partnership with Caesars Sportsbook Arizona.
Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall said the team has already seen an increase in fan engagement this season, thanks to the ability to bet on the team’s games. It’s something that wouldn’t have been possible without the adoption of Arizona online sportsbooks by the state’s legislature in 2021.
The longtime club executive discussed that and more with BetArizona.com earlier this week, when the Diamondbacks officially opened the Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field, located in the former Game 7 Grill outside the main gate of the stadium.
Below is a transcript of that conversation, edited for brevity and clarity.
Chase Field Sportsbook Will Enhance Fan Experience
BetArizona.com: What does it mean to the Arizona Diamondbacks to officially have the Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field facility open?
Derrick Hall: Well, we've been excited about this even well before we broke ground back in September. Just the partnership [with Caesars Sportsbook Arizona] for us was most important. We wanted to make sure that we partnered with a brand that was one of class, of history, of experience, of hospitality. And for us Caesars was that brand.
So, we're really excited about this. And this is going to enhance the experience we believe for all our fans as well. This is not just a day-of-game location, it's going to be a year-round destination that fans and non-fans are going to enjoy.
BetArizona.com: We’re about 10 months from the debut of Arizona sports betting apps. How has sports betting gone for the D-Backs and how would you describe your partnership with Caesars Sportsbook in particular?
Hall: We've been thrilled with the partnership. It's been everything we were hoping and more. They're a tremendous partner. They do look at it as if we're one family, we are one business, which is how we do all our partnerships.
So, they fit in exactly with our philosophy. And I think the state's been really happy. The volume of betting has been strong, which we thought it would be and as a result, this is now new revenue for the state.
That was the whole purpose of this. And for us, as teams, we want to make sure that the operators are benefiting and that they’re getting the results they need because it's going to expand nationwide, and we really have wanted to be one of those role models for other states and other teams.
BetArizona.com: How has sports betting aided the D-Backs business and brand, in your opinion?
Hall: The feedback we've gotten is that fans are more into the games, which is what we wanted. There's a lot more interaction with the fans. And that was a goal. And I think as a result, the fans have really gotten to know our team because they are watching our games.
They are involved — whether it's through betting on our team or other teams. And as a result, with a young team, they can now identify with our roster and they're staying throughout the game for every inning of the game, because they have bets on the game.
And for me, we need that interaction. We need more than just the results on the field, from a win-loss, box score standpoint. Now it's the interest of each individual fan. And that's engagement.
Caesars Sportsbook a Draw for Non-Baseball Events
BetArizona.com: How has sports betting benefited MLB clubs like the D-Backs over the first two-plus months of the regular season?
Hall: It’s definitely helped. I think first off, it's actually impacted our attendance. I think we've gotten more people here at the ballpark. Because they now know that with the app in here in the ballpark they can bet during the games.
And now with this retail location we're going to see people that are enjoying, not only our games, but I think non-baseball events like our concerts, the basketball games next door, some of the major events during the year, whether it's big horse races or March Madness, or the Super Bowl.
We’re going to see a lot of activity here and I think 365 days a year. But this is great for the economy. It's great for us. And I think what we're doing is creating fans for life.
People have been wanting this. They've been telling us forever, please support us; please promote legalized gaming and make it a part of the experience here, and I think it's improved the overall experience and increased the number of fans we've had in attendance.
BetArizona.com: What’s been the highlight of your partnership with Caesars Sportsbook over the past 10-plus months?
Hall: I think really the entire experience has been over the top for me, but I've had this grand opening event circled on my calendar for a long time.
This is going to be the highlight. To finally have this officially open again, and partner with a company and a brand like Caesars, and now to bring in Guy Fieri. For downtown Phoenix, these are landmark names. These are landmark brands that people are going to want to be associated with, and we are too. So this is really my point of pride now seeing the finished product and knowing that our fans are going to be in here each and every day — enjoying sports, enjoying great food — of all ages.
Of course, you have to be 21 to bet here, but anybody can come here and enjoy this and they're going to.