One of baseball’s most famous cathedrals is one step closer to hosting a sportsbook after city officials in Chicago approved a plan to build an addition at Wrigley Field. The new structure would be home to the DraftKings Sportsbook and feature a roof deck in the building that would rest along Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street.
The proposed building would include a 22,350-square-foot footprint on the southeast corner of Wrigley Field. It would house one of the few on-site sportsbooks for a Major League Baseball team, and would mark a significant advancement in the availability of sports betting to fans in the Windy City and Illinois. The Washington Nationals have announced plans to construct and operate a sportsbook with partner BetMGM at Nationals Park in D.C. sometime this season.
Hurdles remain to be cleared before construction can begin on the on-site sportsbook adjacent to the home of the Chicago Cubs. DraftKings and the MLB team will need City Council sign-off on an ordinance allowing sports betting inside the city’s professional sports venues. As we reported here at Gaming Today, Alderman Walter Burnett (27th) introduced such an ordinance in July. It’s currently sitting on the desk of the Chicago City Council’s Rules Committee awaiting an up or down vote. The DraftKings Sportsbook, if approved, would open in time for the 2022 MLB season, according to team officials.
Part Of Plans To Update Wrigley Field
The sportsbook is one detail in a larger plan to modernize and improve Wrigley Field and the neighborhood that it sits in. The city is exploring possibilities of rezoning streets near the famed ballpark to enable outdoor seating and drinking, as well as improving the flow of foot traffic through the area. The Cubs are teaming with city officials and representatives of the National Park Service, since Wrigley Field is a National Historic Landmark, to explore ways to preserve its history while making it more modern and accessible. “Wrigleyville” has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in America’s third-largest city. The Cubs have enjoyed a period of success in recent years, making the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, and winning the World Series in 2016.