Cubs, DraftKings Break Ground on Wrigley Field Sportsbook

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The DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field will be open for the 2023 baseball season, adding a new wrinkle to a landmark ballpark on Chicago’s North Side. It will be the largest sportsbook of its kind on the site of a Major League Baseball stadium.

The sportsbook is part of DraftKings’ $100 million sponsorship deal with the Cubs.

Last week, representatives of the Chicago Cubs, DraftKings, and construction and architectural partners were on hand at Wrigley Field to celebrate the new venue with a ceremonial beam signing.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the latest milestone in our collaborative efforts with the Chicago Cubs to bring a world-class entertainment experience for customers to iconic Wrigley Field,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings CEO, at the press event.

The retail sportsbook operated by DraftKings will be at the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue, next to historic Wrigley Field, the oldest ballpark still in use in the National League and a popular tourist attraction in Chicago. The only other MLB parks with an operational sportsbook are Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. and Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets are planning to open a Caesars Sportsbook at Citi Field.

What will DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field Look Like?

DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field will be a two-story, free-standing building on the southeast corner of Wrigley Field, adjacent to Wrigley Field. The surrounding neighborhood is known as Wrigleyville, and it’s speckled with bars and restaurants that serve to fuel the energy for Cubs baseball.

It will be an impressive 22,350-square-foot venue that can host 1,000 customers. Entry can be gained from outside Wrigley. Fans will be unable to move between the ballpark and the sportsbook.

Customers can enjoy a 2,000-square-foot video screen, tickers that will display odds from DraftKings, and betting windows and kiosks. Wagering will be accepted for any contests allowed under Illinois law, not just Cubs or MLB action.

The unique DraftKings Sportsbook will be open year-round, and also feature a restaurant that serves Chicago-style foods from Chicago-based Levy. It will also host a Jim Beam-branded bar that will be open even when the Cubs are out of town.

The building was designed by famed San Francisco architectural firm Gensler. The general contractor is Pepper Construction Group of Chicago.

Wrigley Field Construction History

The Cubs were not the first major league team to call Wrigley Field their home. That honor belonged to the Chicago Whales, who competed in the short-lived Federal League from 1914 to 1915. Chicago entrepreneur Charles Weegham had the ballpark built by noted Illinois architect Zachary Taylor Davis to house his team.

In 1915, the Whales (also known as the Chi-Feds) won the Federal League title, which marked the last title won by a Chicago major league team for 90 years. But the league folded due to financial pressure that winter, forcing Weegham to scramble to find a use for his new ballpark.

Prior to the 1916 National League season, Weegham convinced gum manufacturer William Wrigley Jr. to go in with him to buy the Cubs. That year the team played its first game at Wrigley Field.

From its inception, Wrigley had a brick outfield wall that was lined by large bleachers that were popular with fans. In 1927 a second deck was added from the left-field line wrapping around to the right-field line behind home plate. In 1937, Bill Veeck Jr., the son of the team president, planted Boston Ivy on the outfield walls to add decoration to the ballpark. The ivy has been on the walls since, becoming one of the most iconic features of a sports venue in the country.

Wrigley Field went the longest of any major league ballpark without lights, waiting more than 50 years after artificial lighting was permanently added to an MLB park. The first official night game at Wrigley was played on August 9, 1988.

In the last decade, the Cubs have expanded the footprint of Wrigley Field, added seating to the bleacher areas, and even added rooftop seats on buildings across Waveland Avenue beyond the outfield walls.

In 2020 the ballpark was designated a National Historic Landmark, becoming the second MLB park (after Fenway Park in Boston) to be so honored.

About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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