DraftKings Set To Open First ‘Sports & Social’ Venue In Michigan

Written By Pat Evans on August 24, 2022
DraftKings Michigan sportsbook

DraftKings is rolling out a new concept of physical presence in Michigan sports betting.

The company announced Monday it will open the first Sports & Social DraftKings venue this fall at Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan. The Michigan sports betting location is a collaboration with Cordish Companies as part of a deal first announced last year to bring a physical DraftKings presence to markets across the US.

“We are thrilled to debut the first-ever Sports & Social DraftKings and offer customers in Michigan our innovative mobile sportsbook app with an exciting in-person experience,” Michael Kibort, DraftKings senior director of retail sportsbooks, said in a release. “We believe we have created a premier dining, sports and entertainment destination for fans to enjoy.”

DraftKings partnered with the Bay Mills Indian Community for Michigan access, complete with a retail sportsbook at the Bay Mills Resort and Casino.

Sports & Social DraftKings details

The venue is in metro Detroit, approximately 20 miles from downtown. The 10,400-square-foot stand-alone entertainment facility will feature DraftKings branding, but bettors can only bet on their mobile devices.

Sports & Social DraftKings includes a 32-foot LED wall and various social games. The menu will consist of “made-from-scratch” favorites and an extensive drink selection.

There will also be a lounge will be available for private parties and events, as well as a dog-friendly patio. Cordish Companies also has partnerships with FanDuel in Pennsylvania sports betting and Maryland sports betting.

DraftKings expanding from just stadiums?

When the companies originally announced the Sports & Social DraftKings, they touted “stadium-adjacent lounges.” Comerica Park, Ford Field and Little Caesars Arenas are in downtown Detroit.

Downtown Detroit also is home to three commercial casinos with FanDuel, BetMGM and Barstool retail sportsbooks. At Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, there is a PointsBet Sports Bar.

The 2021 release also included several other proposed Sports & Social locations:

  • Nashville
  • Atlanta, near Truist Park
  • Arlington, Texas, near AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park
  • St. Louis, near Busch Stadium

Retail touchpoints budding trend

Various team partnerships also include “betting lounges” for sportsbooks that do not have retail sports betting. The trend of putting branded sportsbook facilities near stadiums is also growing.

“Retail is very important to our strategy,” BetMGM Chief Revenue Officer Matt Prevost told LSR when the operator opened a sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington DC this winter. “For many people new to sports betting, they can ask questions, they can talk to people who can guide them through the process.

“Some people have bet a long time, while others look at it with interest but need a little more comfort, so for that segment of customers, retail is a terrific option and many start there and migrate online.”

Sportsbooks join stadium complexes

There have been multiple sportsbooks opening as part of stadium complexes, including:

  • Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena in Washington DC
  • FanDuel at Audi Field in DC
  • FanDuel at Footprint Center in Phoenix
  • Caesars at Chase Field in Phoenix

DraftKings is planning multiple sportsbooks connected to sports venues, including Wrigley Field in Chicago and TPC Scottsdale in Phoenix. The stadium sportsbook concept is built-in to the sports betting models in Arizona, Maryland and Ohio sports betting.

Retail mobile sports betting concepts growing

DraftKings and PointsBet are not alone in trying to capture some metro Detroit crowd without a retail casino presence. Caesars also partnered with movie theater chain Emagine in Royal Oak, Mich., for a retail-like atmosphere.

The retail brand presence will likely tick up in the coming years as operators fight for recognition and market share.

Penn Entertainment is also working to grow the Barstool Sports brand outside of casinos with entertainment venues. Barstool has bars in Chicago and Philadelphia.

Photo by Courtesy of DraftKings
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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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