Licensed sports merchandise business Fanatics made history on Friday as it opened the NFL’s first in-stadium retail sportsbook at FedExField, home of the Washington Commanders.
The sportsbook was opened by Fanatics Betting and Gaming, the company’s online and retail sports betting division, in partnership with the Commanders. The sportsbook marks Fanatics’ first entry into the legal sports betting market and also represents the Commanders’ formal entry into the market in Maryland.
The first official bet was placed by Commanders fan Chris Bryant, who wagered $20 (£16/€18) on the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals to win their next games.
The newly-opened space spans 5,000 square feet and features eight betting windows, 21 self-service betting kiosks, two giant LED video walls, 38 TV monitors and a full-service restaurant. The sportsbook will be located next to the Commanders team store, which is also operated by Fanatics.
The sportsbook will offer legal sports betting markets on all major sports and provide viewing experiences for fans. The development and trading of sports betting markets will be done in-house at Fanatics Betting and Gaming and will be supported by a number of trading suppliers.
The space will be open seven days a week from 10am to 12am. In accordance with the NFL’s commercial gambling policy, the sportsbook will be open with food and beverage services but will not take any bets on the dates of Commanders home games.
Ari Borod, chief business officer at Fanatics Betting and Gaming, said: “We are excited to bring the Fanatics sportsbook to Maryland at FedExField. Our first retail location, with adjacency to the Commanders team store, is a physical representation of what Fanatics will deliver to sports fans all over North America.
“We are rolling out our platform first at retail and we will have more exciting news to share in the coming months as we bring to market new mobile technology designed to improve the betting experience for sports fans.”
Commanders president Jason Wright added: “When our journey began over two years ago, we knew we had to reinvigorate the guest experience at FedExField and open the campus to the community. Today is a special moment in realising that vision as we open this innovative sportsbook, operating seven days a week for sports fans throughout our community.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to former Governor Hogan, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, and numerous other elected leaders who supported our vision of an equity framework that will ensure minority participation in this venture; allowing us to do right by the community and the fans at the same time.”
The space is the first in-stadium sportsbook at an NFL stadium. In October, the Arizona Cardinals and BetMGM debuted the league’s first sportsbook at State Farm Stadium, but this sits outside of the venue.
Washington is also home to the first sports betting venue to open inside a US professional sports facility. Capital One Arena, home of the Wizards and the Capitals, opened a William Hill sportsbook in May 2021.