Is FanDuel FanFest Worth the Trip?

CHICAGO — FanDuel has a reputation as one of the most innovative brands in the sports betting industry. Continuing in that spirit, the online gambling titan has begun hosting FanFest events, first in Denver, then Scottsdale, then SuperBowl 56, and most recently, Chicago.

These events bring together local athletes, music superstars, FanDuel TV personalities, and a whole lot of games. But are they worth the hype?

We attended the most recent FanDuel FanFest on September 10 in Chicago to find out.

Spoiler alert: The short answer is yes. Just about everyone will find something fun about FanFest.

FanDuel FanFest Has Something for Everyone

If you are a sports bettor, FanDuel FanFest is a dream come true. All around you, people speak your love language, fluently and passionately throwing around terms like parlay, vig, handle, and drift. You’ll find an enormous TV screen showing seven different games. Perk up your ears to the loudspeaker, and you will hear FanDuel TV experts giving their best tips. You can even bet for free on the athlete competition, both moneyline and totals. 

Peanut Tillman and Nate Robinson answer questions at FanDuel FanFest Chicago
Peanut Tillman and Nate Robinson answer questions at FanDuel FanFest Chicago.

But what if you don’t like sports betting?  Luckily, even the most casual sports fan will enjoy FanFest. Want to see a former NFL star and former NBA great battle it out for the glory of winning a game of cornhole? Want to get pictures and autographs with one of the NHL’s all-time best? Want to inspect MLB’s Commissioner’s Trophy and/or the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Trophy? You can find all of this and more at FanFest.

For that matter, even if you don’t like sports at all, you can still find plenty to enjoy at FanFest. Headline music acts Wiz Khalifa and Alesso drew in attendees to the Chicago event. And everyone enjoyed the free sports-themed games, which translated into some really nice prizes if you did well enough.

Wiz Khalifa at FanDuel FanFest Chicago
Wiz Khalifa at FanDuel FanFest Chicago

According to FanDuel, all 10,000 tickets for FanFest Chicago were sold, a testament to the event and also to the loyalty of Chicago sports fans. FanDuel wants to use the event to show that it is a big tent company that can appeal to many different groups and to bettors of all sports.  In our analysis, that mission was definitely accomplished.

The reactions of various attendees seemed to underscore that FanDuel met its goal. 

“I came out to see Wiz Khalifa, but meeting Peanut Tillman was pretty awesome too!,” Julianne Reider said.

Stephen Major emphasized a different aspect of the experience: “I use FanDuel a lot, so I came out just to see what the event was about. The [games] are all cool, and I love that they are free.” 

FanDuel plans to continue to offer FanFest experiences in more states with legal sports betting. If one comes near you, we strongly encourage heading out and giving it a try. No matter what draws you in, you are almost certain to leave having had a great time.

About the Author
Jared Daigle

Jared Daigle

Jared is the Associate Content Editor at Gaming Today and has been involved with writing for his entire professional life (almost 20 years). Jared has extensive experience from writing, teaching writing, or working as an editor/proofreader. He is also an avid sports fan; some of his favorite teams are the Marquette Golden Eagles, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Wild, and Florida Gators, but none are favored above the Minnesota Vikings. Thus, he is well-accustomed to great sports pain.

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