DraftKings Sportsbook Construction Begins at Chicago Cubs Stadium
Construction is underway of a new DraftKings sportsbook arena to be built adjoining the Chicago Cubs stadium. The three-story structure, featuring a rooftop open deck area, is hoped to be ready for the start of the baseball season in 2023.
Wrigley Field is perhaps the most iconic baseball stadium, and Crane Kenney, President of Business Operations at the Chicago Cubs, explained how they had tried to integrate the sportsbook in a sympathetic way.
No one’s more protective of Wrigley Field than we are. You know how strongly we feel about it. It’s one of the jewel boxes of baseball, and so the sportsbook will be consistent with the things we’ve done so far.
However, due to restrictions from the league, customers will not be able to access Wrigley Field directly from the completed sportsbook area. There is some vocal opposition to the planned sportsbook at Wrigley Field from a section of concerned supporters. Kenny addressed these concerns head-on by saying:
Change is not always welcome at Wrigley Field, but that corner has been really busy for my whole life with the team going back to ’94,” he added. “This is taking one more step to a permanent structure where I think we should grade pretty well on being really protective of the character of Wrigley Field. It doesn’t mean we won’t change things […] We’re not worried about the future of sports betting; I think it’s just another feature for those who want to engage. Some people don’t want to engage in sports betting, that’s fine. I think the venue, even if you’re not a sports bettor, will be an incredible spot.
Earlier this year, the Washington Nationals opened a sportsbook attached to its ballpark, and this trend looks set to continue in baseball with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox looking to follow suit in the future.