'What better place than Wrigley Field?': DraftKings, Cubs betting on sportsbook outside stadium

On Tuesday morning, Gallagher Way outside of Wrigley Field was jam-packed with kids, moms and strollers for a Wiggleworms concert.

On the other side of Wrigley, there was something new for the over-21 crowd, a preview of the DraftKings Sportsbook.

You could say the Cubs have all the bases covered.

The sportsbook, located on the third-base side of the diamond, near the corner of Addison and Sheffield, will open to the public on June 27. Media members were invited to preview the space.

Simply put, it seems like a nice place to hang out on an NFL Sunday, with a huge wall of TV screens and the ability to show 25 games at once. There will be food, drinks, sports - but at the moment, no physical gambling.

DraftKings is still pursuing a license with the Illinois Gaming Board. A spokesperson called it a very standard process. Eventually, there should be windows where guests can place cash bets and get a printout of their wager for some true Las Vegas-style gambling.

In the meantime, guests can bet all they want using their phones, same as anywhere else within the state of Illinois boundaries.

In this case, a sportsbook visitor could bet on Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner to get a hit, then look up at the big board to see if it happens, while also keeping tabs on every other sporting event going on.

"Our strategy is to identify, with flagship locations like this, high foot traffic areas," said Stephen Miraglia, DraftKings director of communications. "What better place than Wrigley Field?

"This would be a year-round destination, a very immersive viewing experience for people that want to come in, enjoy games, have some food. It's all about reaching that audience. Not only Cubs fans, but the tourists around here."

The sportsbook will be open year round, regardless of whether the Cubs are playing or even in-season. Guests need to be 21 to enter. An inner wall of the sportsbook is the outer wall of Wrigley Field, but the two entities will have separate entrances. Fans attending a Cubs game won't be able to slide over to the sportsbook and return.

The menu is described as "elevated bar food and ballpark-inspired fare." A couple of items offered as signature dishes were a house smoked pastrami sandwich and colossal hot dog. The adult beverage options are extensive.

The Cubs say the second floor of the sportsbook will be reservations only, and there are two areas for larger private parties. The lower level will be for both reservations and walk-ins.

There are no plans to have walls covered with odds and point spreads, typical in Las Vegas sportsbooks. Phones can be used to check, say, Marcus Stroman's Cy Young odds or the Cubs' chances of winning the NL Central.

Construction began in March 2022. One of the building's designers confirmed the Cubs considered digging beneath ground level and creating a new visitors clubhouse under the sportsbook. But obstacles were found that quickly made that goal impossible.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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After 14 months of construction, the DraftKings Sportsbook is set to open to the public on June 27. Media members were invited for a preview on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Neil John Burger
The menu at the new Cubs sportsbook is described as "elevated bar food and ballpark-inspired fare." A couple of items offered as signature dishes were a house smoked pastrami sandwich and colossal hot dog. Photo courtesy of Chicago cubs
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman heads to the dugout after pitching in the seventh inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, June 20, 2023. The Cubs won 4-0. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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