The streets of Columbus’ Arena District have just about everything a sports fan could want: restaurants, bars, parks, and Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Just one thing was missing: a sportsbook.
That changed this week when Fanatics Betting and Gaming announced it has partnered with the Blue Jackets to open a retail sportsbook across the street from the team’s arena. Ari Borod, chief business officer at Fanatics Betting and Gaming, said in a statement that the company is “thrilled” about the new venture:
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Blue Jackets to bring a world-class retail experience to the arena district in downtown Columbus. The Jackets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and we are excited to leverage our partnership to grow with them.”
The Columbus Fanatics Sportsbook will offer a full-service experience
The new Fanatics sportsbook will be a one-stop-shop for bettors looking to place a bet, grab a bite to eat, and get a drink. Here are a few of the location’s specs, per Fanatics:
- 5,000 square feet of space
- Four betting windows
- 14 self-service betting kiosks
- LED video wall
- 20 TV monitors
- Full-service restaurant
Both Borod and Blue Jackets COO Cameron Scholvin believe the sportsbook will be a top-tier destination for sports bettors.
“The Columbus Blue Jackets are constantly seeking new and exciting ways to engage with our fans,” Scholvin said. “We believe this collaboration with Fanatics Betting and Gaming on a world-class sportsbook location just outside the doors of Nationwide Arena in the heart of the Arena District does just that.”
The announcement provides a bit of consolation for Fanatics, which came under fire earlier this year in Ohio when it tried to offer its retail sports merchandise as customer promos for its Ohio online sportsbook.
Columbus sports betting scene continues to grow
Among the sports cities in Ohio, Columbus is sort of a little brother, as it doesn’t have an NBA, NFL, or MLB franchise. However, that doesn’t mean the city is missing out on the surge in sports betting popularity that began when Ohio legalized it in January.
Up-and-coming sportsbook Tipico inked a deal to be the official sports betting partner of the MLS franchise Columbus Crew. In December, Tipico offered $96 Crew team shop vouchers for new customers.
And, earlier this year, Barstool Sportsbook opened its sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Columbus. The book is more than twice the size of the forthcoming Fanatics sportsbook, has more than twice the number of betting kiosks, and has three more betting windows.
However, the Fanatics sportsbook will offer a big advantage over Barstool: location. Hollywood Casino is 15 minutes away from downtown Columbus, whereas Fanatics’ future home will be across the street from the Blue Jackets arena, and just a five-minute walk from the Crew’s stadium, Lower.com Field.