Major League Soccer (MLS) club DC United are in talks with casino operator Caesars Entertainment over opening a sportsbook at Audi Field in 2020, according to the Washington Post.
Both sides are apparently keen to have the sportsbook up and running at the stadium by spring, which could make DC United the first major professional sports team in the US to launch such an operation.
If approved, the club will go up against Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) in the sportsbook stadium race. The owners of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Washington Wizards and the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Washington Capitals first announced in October it had partnered with William Hill to bring a sportsbook to the Capital One Arena.
Speaking to the Washington Post, DC United’s chief business officer, Andy Bush said, “We are absolutely excited about the opportunity to partner with Caesars. It would be an incredible opportunity to engage with our fans.”
Richard Broome, Executive Vice President for communications and government relations at Caesars Entertainment, added, “We’re interested in a partnership with DC United, but we aren’t there yet.”
In order to get the greenlight for their Audi Field sportsbook, DC United would need to apply for a licence from Washington and pay US$125,000 for a permit. The city is expected to open the licencing application process next week.
It is currently unclear if the new facility would take up existing space at the venue or be part of a new construction on site. The Washington Post has reported however that there are plans to include a restaurant and bar for the sportsbook, which would be open every day to the public and to ticket holders on game days.
In addition, the talks between DC United and Caesars apparently involve the possibility of a shirt-sleeve sponsorship deal from 2020. It comes after MLS confirmed last month that teams would have access to that specific sponsorship inventory from next season under a four-year pilot scheme.