For the first time in the NFL’s 100-plus year history, there will be a retail sportsbook on the grounds at one of the league’s stadiums.
The new BetMGM Sportsbook at State Farm Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals and 2023 Super Bowl LVII, officially opened Thursday, in time for the opening kickoff of the 2022 NFL regular season and sports betting in Arizona.
The 17,000-square-foot retail facility lies adjacent to the Great Lawn on the stadium’s western flank, giving sports fans another year-round destination to flock to in the Valley.
During Thursday’s opening ceremony at the Glendale facility, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt and a host of company, state, and team officials took turns discussing the importance of the day’s main attraction, that being the gleaming, V-shaped building that sits on what used to be the edge of the W2 parking lot.
“This honestly this feels like a coming of age for both BetMGM and the sector and our relationship with the league,” Greenblatt told BetArizona.com. “We had the governor of the state, we had an NFL team owner, along with MGM CEO [Bill Hornbuckle] and myself standing shoulder to shoulder, representing our individual excitement about what we’ve done here.
“That would have been unheard of four years ago. It wouldn’t have happened. And so, for me, this is about the future. This is about this venue and our partnership with the Arizona Cardinals and the potential for super-charging the fan experience here.”
A Bold New Era for Arizona NFL Betting
Thursday’s opening ceremony of the BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona coincided with the eve of the one-year anniversary since Arizona sports betting launched and came on the day that the Arizona Department of Gaming reported a $290.5 million handle for the state during July.
Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill told the crowd on Thursday that the team couldn’t be more excited about their partnership with Greenblatt and Co,, calling the day’s opening ceremony a moment his team has waited 16 months for.
“I know it wasn't easy, but there were things about this bill that made this building possible,” Bidwill said. “… The idea is really to make sure this was a place that works year-round for the community and to generate revenue for the state, because all the revenue that the state collects go back to important programs. And that’s something that we don’t want to lose sight of.”
Greenblatt picked up on Bidwill’s comments about the State Farm Stadium facility in his comments to BetArizona.com on Thursday morning, as the New Jersey-based operator looks to build its brand across the league and for NFL betting Arizona.
“We’ve sought to align ourselves with the NFL before, because there are benefits to be associated with a team that brings credibility to BetMGM as a newer brand,” Greenblatt said. “So the association with something that fans know and trust extends that credibility to BetMGM.
“Now it’s more access to fans. Access to advertising within stadium hospitality for our VIP players. So, we’re really just building around the experience of wagering and sports.”
What's Next for BetMGM & Stadium Sportsbooks?
The Cape Town native added that the BetMGM team isn’t sure where they’ll go next, when it comes to stadium sportsbook facilities, but hinted that more development could be on the horizon before long.
Greenblatt said a major consideration for BetMGM when it comes to future retail partners is whether the teams are willing to build sportsbooks that are year-round destinations, and not tucked inside a stadium or arena where patrons rarely go on non-gamedays.
If the right combination of location and market potential come together, though, then anything is possible for BetMGM going forward, Greenblatt added. In addition to the retail site, BetMGM has one of the top Arizona sportsbook apps.
“What this means for the future for other teams, I’m not sure,” Greenblatt said. “We’re quite discerning when it comes to how we allocate capital. And we’re not a charity, of course, we’re a business and so we’ll have to see if the other 31 NFL teams want to do something similar to this.”
'An Exciting Way to Get More Fans Engaged'
Perhaps nobody summed up the day’s importance better than outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey, who capped off Thursday’s press conference with a line about how important the BetMGM Sportsbook facility will be for Cardinals fans on Sundays and non-Sundays alike going forward.
“We're all looking forward to a great season from the Cardinals. This new offering is an exciting way to get more fans engaged and it's going to continue to rise to new heights,” Ducey said. “I believe that this BetMGM Sportsbook will perfectly fit in with the Red Sea. And with that, let's stop this ribbon.”
And don’t forget that the BetMGM Sportsbook will be live for Arizona Super Bowl betting when the game is at State Farm Stadium in February.