DraftKings is building a retail sportsbook at the famed TPC Scottsdale golf course in Arizona, part of an expanded partnership with the PGA Tour that will also give the gambling company access to operate across the state.
The deal was announced just two days after the Arizona senate passed a bill to legalize sports betting and grant licenses to sports entities within the state. Pending an expected signature from the governor, the country’s 14th largest state is hoping to have sports betting up and running by the start of the 2021 NFL season.
The sportsbook will be what DraftKings chief business officer Ezra Kucharz called a “flagship” location, in a similar vein to the one DraftKings is building next to Wrigley Field. It will do big business during major events, of course, but also be open year-round for foot traffic and golfers who visit the course normally.
“Whether you’re someone who lives in Scottsdale, traveling there on vacation, or someone there for a PGA Tour event, this is going to be a marquee facility,” Kucharz said in an interview. “TPC Scottsdale is a destination for golfers year-round.”
DraftKings has been a partner of the PGA Tour since 2019, but the specifics of this deal were made possible by details within the approved Arizona sports betting bill, which grants retail sportsbook rights to pro sports stadiums that seat at least 10,000, plus a few racing and golf venues. The TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course’s famous 16th hole, considered the rowdiest hole in professional golf, is fully enclosed with grandstands and skyboxes that seat 20,000.
DraftKings is also getting market access to Arizona through the course, part of the TPC network of courses operated by the PGA Tour. The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale hosts the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open, which routinely draws the largest crowds on the PGA Tour schedule. DraftKings will become the exclusive sports betting partner of that event.
The partnership includes both DraftKings and PGA Tour, plus the city of Scottsdale and the Thunderbirds, the group that hosts the Phoenix Open. Kucharz declined to comment on financial details, which weren’t provided in the official announcement.
There are currently 21 U.S. states (plus Washington D.C.) with live legal sports betting. That will grow in the near future, with a handful of states that have either passed or are on the cusp of passing new laws.
While almost every sport sees an opportunity to expand its fanbase as legal sports betting becomes more pervasive, few have as strong an argument as golf. The stop-start nature of the game provides myriad, distinct betting opportunities, particularly with in-play betting, which makes up the vast majority of all wagers in mature markets in Europe. To that end, the PGA Tour has official sportsbook partners, a data partnership with IMG Arena, an integrity partnership with Genius Sports and a gambling media partnership with the Action Network.