One of the most historic venues in American sports is adding a sportsbook.
The Chicago Cubs announced plans to “pursue” adding a sportsbook at Wrigley Field, which opened in 1914. The announcement was in conjunction with the team entering in a partnership with DraftKings, which will be the official sports betting and daily fantasy partner of the team. The Action Network reported the deal is for about $100 million for nearly 10 years of rights.
The announcement is similar to one from the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals, who started the first in-house sportsbook in a professional sports venue in the United States. But that was Capital One Arena. This is Wrigley Field.
Sportsbook planned for Wrigley Field
The announcement said there are plans for a sportsbook at Wrigley Field, where fans can place bets on games, with “online access available in the surrounding Wrigleyville area.” It’s unclear if there will be betting windows physically inside the stadium.
Sports betting became legal in Illinois earlier this year.
“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,” Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said in a statement. “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.”
There could be one obstacle. The announcement noted that even though “sports betting is now legal in Illinois, the development of a retail sportsbook would require approval by the city of Chicago.”
Sports betting in venues is new
The idea of placing a sports bet at a venue isn’t foreign in places like England, but it has never been a legal option in the United States until very recently.
Whenever fans are allowed back into Wrigley Field, they’ll presumably be able to log into their sportsbook app and make a live bet on the Cubs during the game. For many years, the only place to make a legal wager was in Nevada. That is changing rapidly.
Making betting a part of the in-game experience for fans is a natural progression. And Wrigley Field will be far from the last venue to jump on board.
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