Chicago Cubs, DraftKings Opening Sportsbook at Wrigley Field Next Week

Grant Mitchell
By:
Grant Mitchell
06/21/2023
News

Highlights

  • The Cubs and DraftKings agreed to a partnership in 2020
  • The sportsbook will serve as one of DraftKings’ premier destinations once sports betting becomes available
  • The main attraction of the facility is a 2,000 square-foot television wall

The Chicago Cubs are prepared to open a DraftKings-sponsored sportsbook connected to their all-famous home and the MLB’s second-oldest stadium, Wrigley Field. 

The Cubs and the sports betting giant initially signed a $100 million partnership in September 2020, at which time plans for a future sportsbook were circulated. Although it took years for the idea to coalesce, the Cubs were the first team to announce its intent to construct a sportsbook connected to their home field.

DraftKings has already released a preview of what the facility will look like, and it’s quite impressive.

The facility

The eye-catcher of the soon-to–be-opened sportsbook is the 2,000 square-foot video wall, which is really a wraparound jumbotron that surrounds the premises. Facility management will be able to put multiple games or just one on the screen, depending on their preference, and will add an extra layer of entertainment value to help the sportsbook stand out from similar competitors.

“Why are you here versus sitting at home on your couch?” said Blake Milburn of Marquee Development. “You probably don't have that in your living room. We try to provide a unique one-of-a-kind experience.”

DraftKings, in conjunction with Wrigley Field and a development team, has been piecing together the sportsbook for the past 14 months. Since Wrigley Field is considered a historic location, the team had to work with local preservationists to make sure the project adhered to certain guidelines.

The sportsbook, which features the same bricks and beams that Wrigley was built with, is due to open on June 27, though it does not yet have regulatory approval to offer sports betting and will primarily operate as a bar and restaurant until it receives the necessary permissions.

Sports betting is already legal and DraftKings is eligible to act as an online sports betting provider in Illinois, and the lack of licensing likely won’t be a long-term issue.

In the meantime, DraftKings hopes to wield its high-end menu to sway guests even in the absence of legal sports betting.

“We're trying to keep it more unique with our twist on it,” said Executive Chef Levy David Burns, who created the menu. “More of a higher level than you see at sports bars around here.”

Changing the game

The Chicago Cubs are prepared to open a DraftKings-sponsored sportsbook connected to their all-famous home and the MLB’s second-oldest stadium, Wrigley Field.

The Cubs and the sports betting giant initially signed a $100 million partnership in September 2020, at which time plans for a future sportsbook were circulated. Although it took years for the idea to coalesce, the Cubs were the first team to announce its intent to construct a sportsbook connected to their home field.

DraftKings has already released a preview of what the facility will look like, and it’s quite impressive.

Changing the game

DraftKings’ initiative to offer sports betting at Wrigley was reflective of a growing interest in gambling from sports fans, which the company noted after its partnership with the Cubs was sealed in 2020.

“An increasing number of sports fans want to integrate sports betting into their game experience, and we're excited to be one of the first to engage in developing a retail sportsbook at a professional sports venue,” said Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney in a press release.

“We want to build the biggest retail sportsbook in the country right in the heart of Wrigley, with an unrivaled experience, food and beverage, and the ability of a fan to go there pregame, make bets, go to the game and sweat and come back and cash their tickets on the way out,” added Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings.

This is now the second Chicago sports facility that has a sportsbook nearby. Last year, a FanDuel-themed facility was opened next to the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks. It too is yet to be able to offer sports betting services.

While this season hasn’t been as memorable as the Cubs’ 2016 World Series triumph, it has given fans something else to cheer about recently. The Cubbies have won eight of their last 10 games and, despite being fourth in the NL Central, are only 3.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the division lead. 

The team’s first game with the sportsbook in operation is scheduled for Tuesday in the first of a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.