The Green Monster will soon have a different look.
This season the MGM Resorts logo will appear on the iconic leftfield wall at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912.
MGM Resorts International has agreed to a multi-year deal to become the "official and exclusive resort casino of the Boston Red Sox," according to a release from Friday.
The agreement also stipulates that there will be MGM Resorts logos or mentions behind the home plate, with the Red Sox radio booth and various media sections.
On top of that, MGM Resorts will have plenty of perks from the partnership including fan experiences at the ballpark plus control of the team's annual Baseball Winter Weekend event. The latter will be held in January at the MGM Springfield Casino and includes kids and families. Fans can meet with Red Sox leaders, take pictures and participate in autograph sessions with current players and discussions on baseball or other sports topics.
Boston hosts Toronto for the home opener on April 9.
"We are excited to enter into this historic partnership with the Boston Red Sox," MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren in a press release. "Combining the two iconic brands of the Red Sox and MGM Resorts will create a new one-of-a-kind fan experience for baseball fans unique to not only New England and MGM Springfield, but the rest of the country.
"We look forward to continuing our work and partnerships in the world of professional sports and building on our success as a worldwide entertainment leader."
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy called it "a natural partnership" for the two brands and that he is looking forward to a long partnership, the Boston Herald reported.
A casino less than 5 miles from Fenway Park is perhaps the biggest loser as a result of this deal. Encore Boston Harbor, a Wynn Resorts company, is set to open in June. The casino spent roughly $2.6 billion; both Encore Boston Harbor and the Red Sox declined to comment to the Herald.
"The biggest factor is that MGM is open and Encore isn't," Clyde Barrow of the University of Texas told the Herald. "The second is that MGM has casinos across the U.S. and from the Sox’s perspective, that means bigger bucks. MGM is well positioned for sports betting and will have a lead over Encore when they do open."
Teams like the Red Sox are quick to join in on the revenue that can be made with these newly founded partnerships.
As casino expert John Gronchowski told the Herald, "virtually every professional sports organization with have sports betting."
When teams make a decision like this, they certainly weigh the pros and cons heavily; some are wary about MLB and any relationship with gambling in general and sports betting specifically. But if the contract is good, as this one appears to be for the Red Sox, then it is very hard to pass up considering the money that can be made. And MLB already began a relationship with MGM Resorts in November and continued it with MGM's sponsorship of this year's Japan Series between the Mariners and Athletics.
Also, considering high MLB salaries, and the fact that other leagues are pursuing these kinds of relationships, look for similar moves to happen soon to generate more revenue.