Those are the only two sporting venues with clear plans to open retail sportsbooks in Chicago at this point. They almost certainly won’t be the last, but they will be the first to open their doors.
Below, we are recapping what we know about these Chicago sportsbooks, including when they will open. Let’s get to them.
DraftKings Wrigley Sportsbook opening date: 2023
Construction has already begun on the future DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field. And according to the Chicago Cubs, spring of 2023 is the target opening date for the facility. The rendering of the finished product is shown above.
Opening Day cancelled but lucrative sports book facility at Wrigley is under construction. pic.twitter.com/5U2ikBSdtW
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) March 2, 2022
Crane Kenney, the president of business operations for the Cubs, recently said:
“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.”
“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.”
The sportsbook will be located at Addison and Sheffield, near the Addison red line ‘L’ stop. It will be 22,350 square feet and include a restaurant and bar. The plans call for a “triangular addition with a roof deck at the southeast corner of the stadium.”
DraftKings and the Cubs cleared one huge regulatory hurdle when the city of Chicago lifted its gambling ban a few months ago. However, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) will need to sign off on the plans, and the board hasn’t been known for its nimbleness.
FanDuel United Center Sportsbook opening date: fall?
We don’t know as much about the specifics of the FanDuel United Center Sportsbook’s plan. But according to sources, the hope is that the facility will open in time for the next basketball and hockey season.
That would be in the fall of 2022, before Wrigley/DraftKings plans to launch. Again, it’s worth noting that the IGB has to sign off on this, and sports betting companies have underestimated how long the approval process can take.
The sportsbook would be two-stories tall, and located adjacent to the United Center atrium, where the Michael Jordan statue is.
Amy Howe, the chief executive officer of FanDuel Group, said when the deal was announced:
“Chicago sports fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in the world and plans for our sportsbook lounge inside the United Center reflect their excitement. Our team has a track record of delivering incredible retail locations for fans, and we can’t wait to make this sportsbook lounge the premier destination for Chicago sports fans and a place where they can fully experience the FanDuel brand.”
Status of other Chicago stadium sportsbooks
The next stadiums most likely to strike sports betting deals are Guaranteed Rate Field (home of the White Sox) and Wintrust Arena (home of the Sky).
The Bears are trying to move the team from Soldier Field to Arlington Heights, so it seems unlikely that the team would make an effort to build a sportsbook at its current stadium.
Illinois passed HB 3136 this past fall, which allowed the Sky to apply for a retail sports betting license at Wintrust. Wintrust wasn’t originally included in the Sports Wagering Act.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have been quiet on the issue. Jerry Reinsdorf owns the Bulls and the Sox, and FanDuel is already a prominent sponsor at Guaranteed Rate Field. However, it remains to be seen what the White Sox will do.
As for the Sky, they lobbied hard to be included in this legislation, so they will almost certainly offer sports betting at some point. The question remains when, and with whom.