Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team and the Washington Capitals NHL ice hockey franchise, has set a first for a US sports facility after William Hill officially opened a sports book at the venue.

Ceremonial first bets have been placed by inaugural season ticket holders from the Wizards, Capitals and the Mystics, Washington’s WNBA. The temporary sports book is located inside the arena’s box office and the opening coincides with the return of the NBA and NHL following the COVID-19-enforced suspension.

The opening comes after Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), the parent company of the Wizards, Capitals and Capital One Arena, partnered with William Hill back in October. The creation of the William Hill Sports Book was subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals and the permanent space will feature a full-service food and beverage offering.

Seven ticket windows and ten kiosks will be placed inside the arena, with the facility to be open seven days a week from 11am to 11pm. Design and construction of the permanent sports book are underway and it is expected to open in the autumn of 2020, pending regulatory approval.

Yesterday (Monday) saw inaugural season ticket holders David Feldman (Capitals), David Dwornik (Wizards) and Angela Tilghman (Mystics) place the ceremonial first bets on their respective teams.

Joe Asher, chief executive of William Hill US, said: “Washington, D.C. is known for its dedicated sports fans, and we’re excited to finally bring them a new way to engage with their favourite teams. Being the first to open a retail location in a professional sports venue wouldn’t be possible without our relationship with Ted Leonsis and his team at Monumental.

“Our teams are working hard to finalise the permanent sports book, restaurant and bar concept we originally envisioned inside the arena.”

Jim Van Stone, president of business operations and chief commercial officer at MSE, added: “We are so pleased to mark this day with three of the most dedicated team fans who propel our players towards excellence on the court or on the ice and for whom Monumental Sports & Entertainment continually innovates.

“And we couldn’t be more excited to couple this new dimension of a sports experience with the return to play across all of our leagues. William Hill has been a terrific partner with a reputation for excellence in service and maintaining the highest level of integrity in their process, and we look forward to welcoming many familiar and new visitors to the arena to check it out.”

William Hill is the exclusive sports betting partner of the Capitals, Wizards, Mystics and MSE. The company also serves as the authorised sports betting operator of the NBA in the US.

Image: MSE