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D.C. United claims ‘first-of-its-kind’ deal with Caesars

D.C. United has agreed a strategic partnership with Caesars Entertainment, a deal that could see a sportsbook introduced at the Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise’s Audi Field stadium.

Commencing from the 2020 MLS season, United said the first-of-its-kind partnership in the League will see the global casino-entertainment company feature its Caesars Sports logo on its shirt sleeves in addition to other sponsorship activations at Audi Field.

The partnership will include a number of game day activations at Audi Field, including promotional giveaways, LED signage, special match moments, and suites for usage during D.C. United home matches and Audi Field events.

In an effort to support the vision to transform Audi Field into a year-round hub of entertainment in the Buzzard Point community of Washington D.C., United said “multiple entertainment and bar/restaurant concepts” are being considered, including Caesars Entertainment hosting events in the stadium itself.

While sports betting was not explicitly referenced in the official announcement, the Washington Times newspaper said United is likely positioning itself as the practice continues to develop in the District. D.C. Council voted to legalise sports gambling in December 2018, and the D.C. Lottery is scheduled to launch its sports betting app next month.

D.C. United and Caesars were linked to creating a sportsbook at Audi Field back in November, but the team would first need to apply to the city for a license to do so. D.C. United co-chairman Jason Levien said in a statement: “Partnering with Caesars provides us with a great opportunity to realise the dream of Audi Field being a year-round hub of entertainment and activity and is another strong indication that global brands continue to see value in partnering with our organisation.”

Chris Holdren, chief marketing officer for Caesars Entertainment, added: “Caesars Entertainment has been a world-wide leader in entertainment for many years, but now, including this new landmark partnership with D.C. United, we have quickly become a leader in the world of sports. We are excited to share our sports, hospitality and entertainment expertise with D.C. United fans and Audi Field guests.”

Several other local sports teams have also made moves in the sports betting space. It was reported last month that Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is keen on incorporating sports betting at any new stadium for the NFL American football team.

The Redskins currently play at the 82,000-seat FedEx Field in Prince George’s County, Maryland and are contractually obliged to stay at the stadium until September 2027. The team has been exploring its stadium options for after 2027 and it remains to be seen where any new venue would be located.

In October, it was announced that Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards NBA team and Washington Capitals NHL ice hockey franchise, would become the first US venue to house a sports book through a partnership between Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) and William Hill.

The partnership named William Hill as the exclusive sports betting partner of the Wizards, Capitals, WNBA team the Washington Mystics and MSE.