Cubs Announce $100M DraftKings Partnership, Plans for Wrigley Field Sportsbook

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2020

Wrigley Field before the first pitch of a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Chicago. The White Sox won 7-4. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs and DraftKings announced a partnership Thursday that will include the construction of a sportsbook at Wrigley Field or in the Wrigleyville area.

"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," Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said in a press release.

The partnership will net the Cubs $100 million over the course of "nearly a decade," per Darren Rovell of The Action Network. The Cubs are the first MLB franchise to announce plans for a sportsbook inside or in the area surrounding their arena.

"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," said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings.

The construction of a sportsbook will require the approval of Chicago, and DraftKings must be approved for a Masters Sports Wagering License with the Illinois Gaming Commission. The announcement did not include a timetable for the sportsbook's opening, in part because of the hurdles the two sides will have to navigate.

Sports gambling has been one of the most booming industries across the country since states received approval from the Supreme Court in 2018. Eighteen states currently have legalized sports gambling.

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