DraftKings Sportsbook and the Chicago Cubs announced a partnership Thursday morning. This comes one day after DraftKings announced that Michael Jordan would be a special board advisor for the sports betting operator. The deal is estimated to be worth $100 million in what would give DraftKings access to build a sportsbook in Wrigleyville.
This is not just any sportsbook in Wrigleyville. No, DraftKings and the Chicago Cubs want to build the largest sportsbook in the U.S.
“We want to build the biggest retail sportsbook in the country right in the heart of Wrigleyville, with an unrivaled experience, food and beverage, and the ability of a fan to go there pre-game, make bets, go to the game and sweat and come back and cash their tickets on the way out,” said co-founder and DraftKings president Matt Kalish.
The deal is in place, but some of the details within it are still a bit foggy. What Cubs fans can expect is a lot of DraftKings signage throughout the stadium and on the jumbotron during games.
There will also be game-specific data, brought to you by DraftKings, that will be used at Wrigley Field and on the Cubs broadcast, Marquee Sports Network.
What is not clear is the number of betting kiosks and windows will be at Wrigley Field. The MLB has strict guidelines for not allowing on-site betting at stadiums. However, this could start to change as the Cubs are now the second team to partner with a sports betting operator after the Detroit Tigers did so with PointsBet back in July.
DraftKings in Illinois
DraftKings planted its sports betting flag in Illinois last month after they partnered with Casino Queen in Alton. The partnership came after the sports betting operator found a loophole in Illinois’ sports betting laws – getting them around an 18-month waiting period before being able to operate in the state.
Mobile operations and a physical sportsbook are up, and now they are looking to do so again in the heart of the north side of Chicago.
This, however, will be easier said than done. Outside of DraftKings saying they want to build the largest U.S. sportsbook in Wrigleyville, there is no plan, or even approval, in place to do so.
For DraftKings to make this work, they will need approval from the state and city to break ground on a sportsbook in Chicago. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker might give DraftKings a tough time with the approval as they found their way into Illinois for the state wanted them too.
If they can get approval on a sportsbook, then the hopes of getting it built and operating could take them another year, at least. According to reports, the Cubs are hoping to have a Wrigleyville sportsbook operating by 2022.
The 2022 timeline feels ambitious for how historic Chicago politics can be with getting in the way of things. Especially with the Cubs trying to transform Wrigleyville, things have not been easy for the Rickett’s family.
Regardless, this is a huge move for both DraftKings and the Cubs to accomplish. If all goes well, then both parties will be happy with the deal for years to come.