Denver Area Sports Bar Owners Place Big Stanley Cup Bet on Oilers Win | Westword
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Sportsbook Bar & Grill Owners Could Win Big If the Oilers Win Stanley Cup

After a fire caused their Greenwood Village spot to close in January, Judson Dymond and Jeremy Malone could really use a win. Four, to be exact.
Judson Dymond (left) and Jeremy Malone with a Stanley Cup at their bar
Judson Dymond (left) and Jeremy Malone with a Stanley Cup at their bar Courtesy Sportsbook Bar & Grill owners
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The Stanley Cup matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers holds extra meaning for the owners of the Sportsbook Bar & Grill, whose Greenwood Village location suffered a devastating fire in January.

Co-owners Judson Dymond and Jeremy Malone need the Oilers to win to hit the final leg of a parlay they placed before the fire that could win them nearly $500,000. The previous two legs of the bet required the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl and Real Madrid to win the UEFA Champions League, both of which happened.

Dymond says they had placed the same parlay bet with the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup instead. The Avalanche season ticket holders thought the Colorado team would have a great shot at winning. But when the Avs lost in round two, their hopes switched to the Oilers and star center Connor McDavid.

“We felt like they had everything put together to do it,” Dymond says of the Canadian team. “Their odds were very favorable, even though they'd been playing such good hockey, because they started poorly. … Hopefully, they play a bit better the next couple of games.”

The Panthers have won the first three games in the series. The next game is in Edmonton, on June 15.

It’s been a long journey since January 26, when Dymond got a call from the bar’s alarm system. When he looked at the Sportsbook security cameras, they were already completely blacked out from smoke, he says. While driving to the 9660 East Arapahoe Road location, Dymond got a call from the fire department.

“I get there and see all the fire trucks and see the broken window at one of our front doors, and smoke is just coming out the window,” Dymond remembers. “Your heart just sinks, because it's obviously one of the biggest fears as a business.”

When Dymond and Malone assessed the damage, they found the dining room was safe, but the office, kitchen and bathrooms needed to be almost completely redone.

“I had no idea just how damaging the smoke is, which really has become the big problem,” Dymond says.

The electrical panels and HVAC system need to be replaced because of smoke damage, Dymond says. Additionally, he and Malone have found that the building, estimated to be thirty to forty years old, needs updates to bring it up to code. With all the repairs needed, they’re looking at a September or October date to reopen.

The Sportsbook Bar & Grill doesn't own the building, so some repairs have been covered by the landlord’s insurance in addition to Dymond and Malone’s — but insurance can’t cover all the costs.

While the Sportsbook's insurance allows some sales recuperation, it’s much lower than what the bar would really make, especially during the end of the NFL season and the NBA and NHL playoffs, according to Dymond. Plus, anything that’s considered an upgrade from what existed before comes from the owner’s pockets.

Dymond and Malone are spending their own money on better flooring and upgraded bathrooms, among other technological improvements — updates they've been wanting to make but couldn't when customers were in the building.

“Instead of just sitting in the corner and hating life and being angry, let's find a way to make this work,” Dymond says. “Even though it's going to come out of our pocket, we want to be there for a long time. We've been there for eleven and a half years, and our goal is that we don't want to go anywhere.”

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department eventually arrested Jerrell Bailey on charges of burglary, arson and criminal mischief in connection with the fire; the investigation is ongoing.

There were two fundraisers after the fire, but Dymond says all the money from those went to pay the staff for as long as they could; combined with payments from insurance, it all lasted a couple of months, he says. They hired as many Greenwood Village employees as they could to work at their other location in Highlands Ranch, but most staff members have found other jobs.

The cash from this bet would certainly help with the Sportsbook's reopening in Greenwood Village, but Dymond says they aren’t reliant on it for their repairs and would spend some of it sponsoring youth sports or putting it toward opening a new location in Aurora.

“It would be helpful, but it's not something that we're dependent on,” Dymond says. “It's just something that would be a nice benefit and helpful.”

The bet was a $1,000 free bet with BetMGM. Still, Dymond says they wouldn’t have placed a bet this substantial after the fire while they were consumed with inspections and insurance. The two placed the bet during the NFL's Super Wildcard Weekend, which was January 13 through 15 — right before the blaze.

The odds were 584 to one, so they would have won $584,000 if they had stuck it out. However, BetMGM allowed them to modify the parlay to hedge the bet if the Panthers win, Dymond says. If Florida wins another game, they will get around 20 percent of the possible payout. If the Oilers pull it out, they’ll get about 80 percent.

Dymond, a Broncos fan, has lived in Colorado his whole life, so he felt a bit weird cheering on the division-rival Chiefs, especially during the Super Bowl against the 49ers. Kyle Shanahan, son of Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and Cherry Creek High School alumni, coaches the 49ers, so normally Dymond would have rooted for him.

Still, the first weekend of June, when Real Madrid secured its win and the Oilers clinched their Stanley Cup berth, was a very fun weekend, Dymond says. Things have been less fun with the Stanley Cup series since the Oilers have taken three tough losses, but Dymond isn’t sweating it too much. After all, Real Madrid didn't score until the last twenty minutes of the Champions League final, and the Chiefs needed overtime to secure their victory.
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