DraftKings Partners For Detroit Sports Bar As PointsBet Takes Over Little Caesars Arena Space

Written By Matt Schoch on July 29, 2021
Little Caesars Arena Bar PointsBet July 2021

On the same day that DraftKings Sportsbook announced a partnership with the parent company of Sports & Social, workers were already installing signage at the Little Caesars Arena location that had previously housed the sports bar.

It’s prime real estate for a sportsbook brand, right near the southeast entrance of LCA, home of the Detroit Pistons and Red Wings.

So there it was Thursday, plain as day: “POI,” a space, “T” then another space and “BET.”

If you’re following the Michigan sports betting industry and know the familiar red-and-white colors, you know that the former Sports & Social spot is being dressed up in PointsBet branding, a move the Australian bookmaker announced in January that PlayMichigan reported on.

So … what’s going on?

Signage for the new PointsBet-themed sports bar is installed near Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Thursday, July 29, 2021. (Matt Schoch/PlayMichigan)

PointsBet opening sports bar at Little Caesars Arena

In January, PointsBet Sportsbook announced a deal with the Red Wings that “includes the rebranding of Sports & Social Detroit at Little Caesars Arena to the PointsBet Sports Bar” this year.

A PointsBet spokesperson confirmed those plans to PlayMichigan. Included are hopes for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at LCA sometime before the 2021-22 Pistons and Red Wings seasons get underway.

That’s all backed up by the construction Thursday of the PointsBet signage outside of LCA.

Which brings us to DraftKings and Sports & Social.

The powerhouse sportsbook announced a “strategic new relationship” for Sports & Social/DraftKings bars designed by ICRAVE.

The announcement indicates Detroit and Nashville will be the first markets for the deal, pending regulatory approval. The new bar will be in a location that has not yet been disclosed.

Keep in mind that these branded sports bars would not have betting kiosks available, unless the Michigan Gaming Control Board approves the locations for online wagering. You could, though, wager on your preferred sports betting apps on your phone there, of course.

Meanwhile, Sports & Social locations have branding deals with FanDuel in other locations, including Philadelphia and Hanover, Maryland.

Got all that?

Different Sports & Social location coming to Detroit

A DraftKings spokesperson said the “exact venue location is still being determined” for the venture with Sports & Social, which is now out of the Little Caesars Arena space given the PointsBet situation.

Perhaps another venue could be coming, as Sports & Social/DraftKings shift to another bar in LCA. Or perhaps a new bar is coming to Comerica Park, Ford Field or another spot in the city.

However, it shakes out, it’ll be a nice for DraftKings to have a presence in the city. Its main competitors are all physically visible in the state’s sporting epicenter.

FanDuel Sportsbook is in MotorCity Casino downtown. BetMGM Sportsbook is of course in MGM Grand Detroit in the city. Barstool Sportsbook is near the sports teams at Greektown Casino.

Sports bar shift not the only move as books pine for Detroit fans

But make no mistake, it’s more sports betting in plain view of Detroit sports fans (as if they needed it).

Pistons fans, for instance, can watch games on Bally Sports Detroit, with pre-game and halftime promotions by FanDuel and BetRivers, featuring in-arena signage for DraftKings, FanDuel, Parx Casino and PointsBet, which also employs former Pistons great Richard Hamilton as a paid influencer.

The Red Wings’ ice is adorned with PointsBet and BetMGM signage on television broadcasts, and legend Chris Chelios is signed as a pitchman for BetMGM, too.

And now, the situation with the shifting brands of the LCA sports bar.

Suddenly, on the day the Pistons are expected to add a potential superstar in Cade Cunningham in the NBA Draft, there is valuable real estate worth pining for in downtown Detroit.

Right in the faces of our sports fans.

Photo by Matt Schoch/PlayMichigan
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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