Get ready, Super Bowl LV is around the corner.
And, New Jersey racetracks are betting on plenty of Super Bowl Sunday action Feb. 7.
But unlike the previous two Big Games, there are COVID-19 protocols and social distancing guidelines the three Garden Sate racetracks must follow.
So the NJ sports betting crowds will be much smaller.
The Super Bowl is taking place at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. on CBS.
Here is a closer look at how the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park are adjusting their plans for the Big Game.
Setting the Super Bowl betting scene
The Meadowlands Racetrack, located in East Rutherford, is home to the market-leading FanDuel Sportsbook.
PointsBet NJ also operates under the Meadowlands license.
At Monmouth, William Hill operates the retail book. SugarHouse and theScore sportsbook are the other two brands operating under Monmouth’s license.
Freehold Raceway is the newcomer as far as NJ sports betting goes. The Monmouth County racetrack opened a Parx-branded sportsbook in late September. They have yet to publicly share details regarding Super Bowl Sunday festivities.
Super Bowl weekend at Monmouth Park
For Super Bowl betting fans, there is the William Hill retail sportsbook features a 75-foot LED video wall. It’s located on the grandstand level.
As far as food goes, the William Hill Sports Bar at Monmouth Park announced Big Game weekend specials via Facebook. The menu includes:
- Kansas City BBQ ribs, $18
- Buccaneers fish & chips, $15
- Pitcher of beer and wings, $15
- Big Game sampler, $14
Watch, wager, and dine at Meadowlands Racetrack
Meadowlands Racetrack is getting ready to throw a Big Game party, starting at 4 p.m. Ticket packages range from $35 to $150. Seating is available in the Victory Pavilion (an outdoor heated tent), The Lounge, and Victory Sports Bar.
Some of the party packages are priced for groups of two to four people.The ticket charge is a dining credit that will be applied to the food bill.
Meadowlands spokesperson Rachel Ryan told Play NJ “we are encouraging patrons to purchase their dining reservation in advance to guarantee seating for Super Bowl.”
And because of the pandemic, customers must make reservations for a dining table or couch.
As far as NFL betting goes, Ryan said “wagering has been very strong these playoff weekends and we expect it to continue through Feb. 7.”
NJ racetracks taking precautions
Ryan said this year is going to look and feel a little different than 2020. Here are some of the precautions in place at the Meadowlands Racetrack:
- Plexiglass was installed where necessary
- Countertops are wiped with disinfectant between transactions
- Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building
- Visitors complete a COVID questionnaire
- Temperature checks of everyone entering the facility
Meadowlands also is maintaining the 35% capacity limits for both dining and general admission, which is an increase of 10% from the previous limitations. The change was announced on Wednesday by Gov. Phil Murphy.
BREAKING: I’m signing an Executive Order to:
☑️Expand indoor dining capacity to 35%
☑️Lift the statewide 10:00 PM restaurant indoor service limit; local restrictions may remain in place
This order will take effect Friday, February 5th. Public health protocols must be adhered to. pic.twitter.com/L4SnyDgIfW
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 3, 2021
No mask, no entrance
Even with the loosened restrictions, masks are still required.
“All guests must wear masks over their nose and mouths at all times (unless actively eating and drinking) and we have signage encouraging patrons to wash their hands regularly,” Ryan said.
On a side note, there is a COVID-19 vaccine mega site at the old racetrack grandstand building, but it will not affect the racetrack and FanDuel operations, Ryan said.
The bottom line is a lot of extra planning went into this year’s Big Game event due to the pandemic.
“This year, everything is based on capacities due to COVID restrictions. Our team knows that the majority of bettors come out, place their wagers and then go home to watch the game,” said Ryan.
“We have to be able to manage our numbers, and ensure a steady flow of foot traffic, and the day of the Big Game is no exception.”