The Chicago Cubs traded a truckload of star players last week, but now aim to add something: a sportsbook venue at Wrigley Field.
The team wants to build a two-story addition to Wrigley Field at the southeast corner of the historic stadium. The Cubs are presenting plans for the 22,350-square-foot addition to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday, according to Crain’s.
If approved, the addition would become the home of the DraftKings Sportsbook. The Cubs want to open the sportsbook by the end of 2022 and believe it will take a year to construct. Patrons will be able to utilize it without a ticket to a Cubs game.
The plan requires approval from both the landmarks panel and the City Council, which would need to pass an ordinance allowing for sports betting inside major stadiums. Resistance is expected, given fears that a sportsbook would compete with a future Chicago casino. Cubs fans are also recovering from the team’s recent trades of stars Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Kimbrel.
NBC Chicago previously reported that the city is soliciting proposals for a casino resort to open by 2025. It would include a hotel with up to 500 rooms, restaurants and bars.
Another roadblock is the need for a license from the Illinois Gaming Board to operate the sportsbook, for which the Cubs would need to pay a $10 million fee.
Last year, a state law legalized sports betting in Illinois. The state can grant up to seven sports betting licenses within a five-block radius of a 17,000-seat stadium, which includes Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, Soldier Field and the United Center.
[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner