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FanDuel Opens 1st Arizona Retail Sportsbook at Suns Arena

Christopher Boan for Bookies.com

Christopher Boan  | 4 mins

FanDuel Opens 1st Arizona Retail Sportsbook at Suns Arena

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A sea of various shades of blue and grey combined with a wall of screens greet you walking into the main entrance of FanDuel’s newest sportsbook for Arizona sports betting.

The FanDuel Sportsbook, which opened Thursday inside the Footprint Center, home to the NBA's Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, is the first retail sportsbook to open in Arizona.

The facility’s grand opening coincided with the first day for legal sports betting in Arizona, with overjoyed bettors lining the many rows of theater-style and bar seating in the facility. To kick off sports betting in the state many sportsbooks and betting apps are extending promo codes and odds boost offers to Arizona bettors.

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With more than 7,000-square-feet of space, the FanDuel facility features all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from a high-end sportsbook, such as betting kiosks and full food and beverage service.

For FanDuel Senior Director of Retail Operations Jeff Lowich, the downtown Phoenix facility represents a new era for gaming in the American Southwest.

“At FanDuel Sportsbook at Footprint Center, we will bring you an industry leading experience for all types of sports bettors,” Lowich told the crowd. “If you’re a brand-new customer betting for the first time, that’s great. We’ll show you the ropes and we’ll show you how much fun sports betting is.”

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Months in the Making

Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley took the crowd through the months-long process that FanDuel and the Suns went through to ensure that Thursday’s opening went off without a hitch.

The facility was announced on April 15, the same day that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed Arizona House Bill 2772 into law, updating the state’s gaming compact to allow sports betting, daily fantasy sports and Keno games.

“This is an exciting day, because I’ve walked through this space numerous times over the last couple of months, and even more so in the last week or so,” Rowley said. “And anyone that’s ever been through a construction project knows that within that last 24 hours or so you start to think, ‘How is this ever going to come to life and actually open up?’ ”

“And lo and behold, amazingly, we all came together and made it happen.”

Rowley said that the FanDuel facility has gone through many iterations in its lifetime, from being an Italian restaurant to various corporate-sponsorship club spaces for the Suns.

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He said that the space never really fit its tenants in the past, but that it has finally found its perfect partner in FanDuel.

“When you walk through this facility, you’re going to see what this space was originally intended for, even though it didn’t know it at the time and we didn’t know it at the time,” Rowley said. “When you walk through the facility, you can just feel it.

“And all the people that have come together to make it happen. It's just an incredible thing to watch and I just have such a sense of pride and gratitude.”

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A Bold New Era for Sports in Arizona

Ducey told the crowd that the work put in by folks like Rowley and Lowich speaks to the commitment to providing a top-notch experience for customers of the state’s first retail sportsbook facility.

He added that the teamwork that differing parties put in to make Thursday’s rollout possible speaks to the bright future that sports teams and operators have in the state.

“This stuff does not happen by accident,” Ducey said. “This amendment is going to allow us to modernize the gaming industry in Arizona, and it will provide additional revenue streams for our state budget for the significant changes that were represented here reflect two decades of work and it paved the way for the opening of this sportsbook here.”

And it’s sure to be packed when the Arizona Cardinals play their first game Sunday, facing the Tennessee Titans. The Cardinals are 3-point underdogs to the Titans in NFL Week 1 Odds.

About the Author

Christopher Boan for Bookies.com
Christopher Boan
Christopher Boan has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, with stops at ArizonaSports.com, Tucson Weekly and Green Valley News.