PHOENIX — Marcus Dowell scanned the scene inside the new FanDuel SportsBook built into the Phoenix Suns’ Footprint Center.
“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever been to,” Dowell said astonished.
Back home in Louisville, Dowell, 25, balances his sports fandom and interest in recreational sports betting by driving more than 30 minutes over the K&I Bridge to reach the Indiana state line, where sports betting is legal. There, he parks at a Wal-Mart or Thornton’s gas station and taps on his phone app.
If time allots, he can watch the game play out at a nearby sports bar, or he’ll return home and then drive back the next day to cash in any winnings.
But on this night, Dowell stepped easily into FanDuel’s 7,400-square-foot retail sportsbook at the Suns’ arena during a visit to the area. Offering more than 25 retail sports gaming machines in addition to five live betting windows, the multimillion-dollar facility has 40 HD televisions, a full-service bar with food options and an MVP room for the most earnest players.
Models of Las Vegas sportsbooks have officially arrived to co-exist inside America’s biggest arenas. Give it time: it’s coming to your city, too.
A tsunami of followers will make this unique desert operation a standard practice as more states embrace legalized sports betting beyond the 30 that do so now.
In the greater Phoenix area alone, Caesars Sportsbook is constructing a retail betting venue inside the Arizona Diamondbacks’ neighboring home, Chase Field, and across town, BetMGM is eyeing an August opening for its joint venture with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals that will offer live betting for the first time inside State Farm Stadium, which will host Super Bowl 57.
“It’s advantageous for us to get within the proximity of fans who haven’t yet dipped their toes in the water,” BetMGM’s Vice President of Trading Jason Scott said.
In addition to the large venues, Tipico Sportsbook will sponsor a lounge. The Tipico Sportsbook club VIP area will debut at Historic Crew Stadium later this month when the Columbus Crew’s MLS season begins. Ohio fans are expected to be legally betting by early 2023.
BetMGM is already set up at Nationals Stadium in Washington, and when baseball owners and its players union finally strike a deal, Scott anticipates easy transactions for fans.
Construction crews worked on creating the FanDuel Sportsbook on the north end of Footprint Center, the home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Richard Ruelas/The Republic
“Certainly, baseball stadiums — with 81 home games — must do this,” Scott said. “I’ve seen the drawings for State Farm Stadium, and they’re incredible. That venue will be far …….