United Center & FanDuel Sportsbook
United Center, home to the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, has recently entered into a partnership with FanDuel to create an in-arena sportsbook lounge. The plans for the lounge are state of the art – set to have two stories, cutting-edge viewing, and betting technology, and a full team dedicated to the customer experience in the lounge. United Center is located in the heart of Chicago right off the 290 Freeway in the West Loop area, making this a prime location to attract sports betting fans. But before they can bring it to life, they first need approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.
While they are awaiting that approval, United Center and FanDuel have agreed to create a non-wagering lounge in United Center branded with FanDuel that will allow Chicago sports fans to watch live sports action while cheering on their favorite team.
Its aim is to enhance the customer and fan experience while promoting and supporting the sports betting industry simultaneously, and both United Center and FanDuel see a large-scale business opportunity in this partnership.
“As an industry leader in sports betting with a large and loyal existing customer base, FanDuel has a proven track record of innovation and excellence making them the perfect partner in developing the sportsbook at the United Center,” Howard Pizer, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of United Center, said. Concurrently, Amy Howe, Chief Executive Officer of FanDuel, also expressed excitement and described Chicago sports fans as “some of the most loyal and passionate fans in the world.”
Sports Betting in Illinois
Sports betting was legalized in 2019 in the state of Illinois with a provision that sportsbooks would be allowed in professional sports stadiums. Since then, not only has sports betting legalization sharply increased but so have sportsbook representation in professional sports stadiums. FanDuel also has a partnership with Footprint Center (home to Phoenix Suns), Caesar’s Sportsbook is partnering with Chase Field (home to Arizona Diamondbacks), BetMGM with Nationals Park (home to Washington Nationals), and several others. All of these partnerships have received positive feedback.
Chief Revenue Officer of BetMGM Matt Prevost gave his explanation for why retail sportsbooks are relevant in these sports stadiums despite the vast majority of sports betting happening on our phones or our computers.
“We look at this as an opportunity to engage with fans not only on game days, but we’re also looking at people in the local neighborhood to engage with them,” he said. “Retail is a great opportunity to put a face to a brand.”
FanDuel opened up their lounge in Footprint Center on Sept. 9 and has been “very successful,” according to Vice President of Retail Operations, Keith Wall. There are 40 TVs, movie theater seats, five betting windows, 26 betting kiosks, and plentiful food and drinks available to customers. United Center is significantly bigger than Footprint Center, which gives way to the two-story feature so that we could expect this, plus more.
It is unclear when exactly the green light will be given on the implementation of FanDuel in United Center