The Chicago Cubs have forged a new partnership with DraftKings that will eventually lead to a sportsbook being placed at Wrigley Field, TMZ Sports reported on Thursday. While allowing in-person wagering at a baseball stadium was once thought inconceivable, times have changed and the state of Illinois has taken steps to allow such endeavors.
The Cubs announced the new partnership and said that fans will be able to place bets either inside the ballpark or somewhere very close by. The team stated that the partnership would make it possible for fans who were going to a game to stop off and place a bet on who would win, who would knock in the first runs, what pitcher would get the save, and much more. Having the sportsbook onsite will allow fans to do everything they could do online at DraftKings.com or while watching the game in Vegas while they're at Wrigley Field.
TMZ Sports noted that the setup will feature both betting windows and self-service kiosks, quite a bit like what someone would find at a horse racing track.
DraftKings co-founder and president Matt Kalish said he thinks this new location in or around Wrigley could eventually become a place for Cubs fans to hang out, have a beer, and submit a wager before the first pitch, then head up to their seats to see how everything shakes out.
"It might be the Cubs to win, maybe a few props like a first home run, then stroll into the game at 6:45, sit down, sweat my bets and cheer on the Cubs," Kalish told David Purdum of ESPN. "Then, after the game, I can stop back at the sportsbook, relax with my friends, get some food and drink and think about the next day's game, maybe put in a few more tickets."
Kalish went on to say he believed the location at Wrigley would be one of the biggest of its kind in the country, even if his company was able to put one in all 50 states.
Crane Kenney, the teams' president of business operations, said that many fans are looking for ways to add betting into their enjoyment of the Cubs, baseball and other sports. He added that the club is excited to be at the forefront of this kind of partnership.
Before the Cubs can officially build the establishment, it will need to get final approval from the city of Chicago. The timing for moving ahead with the project will become clearer when they get that approval.