GLENDALE — People barbecued and blasted music on the Great Lawn Sunday morning while others continued to set up their tailgates hours before the Arizona Cardinals kicked off the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
A new tradition to tailgating just opened at the State Farm Stadium: betting at the new BetMGM Sportsbook.
In a news conference on Thursday, Arizona Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill said the state is a “model piece of legislation.”
Sports betting just became legal a year ago. The construction of the Sportsbook happened quickly, as leaders wanted it to be open and ready in time for the 2022 season.
“Everybody’s talking about this. This is the first one in the NFL. One of the very first at a sports venue in the United States,” Bidwill said. “We wanted to build something that’s world class, that’s going to stand the test of time and going to be a real beacon, and I think we’ve created it.”
“It’s pretty incredible. To open it up to all the stadiums, I know this is the first stadium, but it’s probably going to come across to a ton of other NFL teams. It’s a good time to be here,” said Ewan Durkin, an Arizona Cardinals fan. Durkin made a $20 bet for the Cardinals to win on Sunday.
Tom Kimbro, a 12-year season ticket holder, now has a new place to visit before games.
“I already put my bets in, yes, I did. I got my eight parlays that I put in for and I’m excited to see without going to Las Vegas, we’ve got it right here in Arizona,” Kimbro said.
Some Kansas City Chiefs fans flew halfway across the country to see their team.
Gregory Barr and his wife purchased plane tickets about a month ago for the game. They didn’t buy their tickets to the game until Saturday.
“Today, we bet the Chiefs, Cardinals game, six and a half, and trying to make our money back from our tickets,” Barr said. “Just got them yesterday, got a pretty good deal but you know, worst case, it’ll be a fun story.”
Having in-person sports betting is a plus for some people who travel and still can’t bet in their home state. Steve Huerta, a Kansas City Chiefs fan, says he goes to Las Vegas a few times a year to bet.
“Going in two weeks and always sports bet and do it as much as we can,” Huerta said. “But, living in California, we can’t do anything online. Got to come over to different states and now that Arizona offers it, that’s awesome.”
The building is nearly 17,000 square feet decked out with a sports bar and sportsbook amenities. It is open every day of the week on game days and non-game days.
The Kansas City Chiefs won the Cardinals' first game of the season 44-21.