The SPIRE Institute and Academy is a for profit youth and adult sports complex based in Ashtabula County, Ohio. They play host to sports clubs, a variety of tournaments. There are also training facilities for Olympic-caliber competitors, elite youth athletes, professional athletes and Paralympians. They also offer the SPIRE Academy, a residential academy for high school student athletes with a focus on preparing them for college sports. LaMelo Ball of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets played high school basketball at SPIRE Academy.
Soon, they will also be partners in an online sports betting operation. Owned by Geneva Sports, the company was granted both Type A and Type B licenses by the Ohio Casino Control Committee, which means they’ll be able to operate both brick and mortar as well as online and mobile app sports betting services.
It’s unlikely that the SPIRE Institute will be up and operational for Ohio’s January 1, 2023 launch date for legal and regulated sports betting. They are partnering with Out Of the Gate LLC, a group that has yet to receive regulatory approval from the OCCC.
SPIRE Academy officials indicated that their retail sports betting will be operated off campus and thus won’t be influencing any of the high-school aged students toward sports betting. In fact, the address listed as the location for their brick and mortar sports betting operation is the site of a failed restaurant in Ashtabula County. They would be the only retail sports betting operation in the country, which including the surrounding area has a population of nearly 400,000.