DraftKings, Cubs Reach Deal to Put Sportsbook at Wrigley

DraftKings, Cubs Reach Deal to Put Sportsbook at Wrigley
© USA Today

DraftKings will be the official sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports partner of MLB’s Chicago Cubs and will be able to put a sportsbook at Wrigley Field.

The multiyear deal announced Thursday gives DraftKings even greater access to the Chicago sports betting market. It comes on the heels of DraftKings announcing that Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan, who helped win six NBA championships for the city, joined the company as a special adviser.

On Aug. 5, DraftKings at Casino Queen opened in East St. Louis, about 300 miles from heavily populated Chicago. But Gov. J.B. Pritzger suspended the in-person registration requirement on Aug. 22, giving mobile sportsbooks the ability to sign up bettors anywhere in the state.

DraftKings, BetRivers and FanDuel are the three mobile sports betting apps live in Illinois.

With the deal, DraftKings can have a sportsbooks at one of America’s iconic sporting venues, with online access available in surrounding Wrigleyville, according to a news release. Developing a retail sportsbook requires approval from the City of Chicago.

“This is truly a historic moment, as we are thrilled to align with the renowned Chicago Cubs franchise and iconic Wrigley Field to provide sports bettors in Chicago with a revolutionary sports betting experience,” Matt Kalish, DraftKings co-founder and president, said in the news release. “As two organizations that share a mutual passion for innovation and a commitment to excellence, we look forward to working in collaboration with the Cubs, an organization steeped in tradition, and making our presence felt in and around Wrigleyville.”

The Cubs have played at Wrigley Field since 1916 and it is the second oldest MLB ballpark.

2nd Sports Betting Deal for an MLB Team

The Detroit Tigers became the first MLB team to name an official sports betting partner when it partnered with PointsBet in July. It was expected that other teams would soon follow with deals of their own. The Cubs became the second team to announce a partnership.

“DraftKings has been a great partner for a number of years and we are excited to expand this relationship as sports betting grows rapidly in Illinois,” Crane Kenney, the Chicago Cubs’ president of business operations, said in the release. “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.”

MLB started its season on July 23 after being delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Cubs currently sit in first place in the National League Central just past the midpoint of the season.

Sportsbooks at Sports Venues

William Hill opened the first sportsbook in a U.S. professional sports venue on Aug. 3 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Capital One is home to the NBA’s Wizards, WNBA’s Mystics and the NHL’s Capitals.

PointsBet announced on Aug. 7 will become the official and exclusive partner of the professional teams and venue owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment there — the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League and the Pepsi Center, where the teams play.

The Denver Broncos have also announced deals with FanDuel, Betfred and BetMGM. Betfred and BetMGM will have sports betting lounges at Mile High Stadium.


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