After more than a year of working on the project, DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois recently provided a sneak peek of its space during a preview event held on Tuesday. The facility is situated near the iconic Wrigley Field and aims to become a flagship location for the company’s nationwide operations.
While the sportsbook is a separate building, it incorporates elements of the historic ballpark, such as the iconic bricks and steel beams. It provides guests with a view of the adjacent ballpark concourse through its windows.
Taking center stage at the corner of Addison and Sheffield is not a ball diamond but a colossal 2,000-square-foot video wall that envelops the entire corner, as seen in the preview. This screen can showcase numerous sporting events simultaneously or focus on a single game.
While the official launch of the sports betting feature is pending regulatory approval, DraftKings has already prepared the cashier’s station with power and ethernet connections in anticipation of installing betting kiosks.
“Why you are here versus sitting at home on your couch? You probably don’t have that in your living room,” said Blake Milburn of Marquee Development. “We try to provide a unique one of a kind experience.”
According to local news outlets, the two-level space is designed to resemble a stadium. The lower level boasts tables and a bar, while the upper level provides additional seating for private events.
Venues like the DraftKings Sportsbook indicate the rapid growth within the sports betting industry. Since its legalization in 2019, the amount of money wagered by Illinois sports betting enthusiasts has skyrocketed.
In 2020 alone, the Illinois sports betting handle reached $9 million. Then, it surged to an astounding $5.1 billion in 2021, further climbing to $8.5 billion last year, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.
However, DraftKings must fulfill regulatory requirements and obtain a license from the Illinois gaming board before proceeding. Visitors will have to wait to engage in betting activities for now.
Inside Wrigley Field’s New Sports Bar
While awaiting regulatory approval to offer sports gaming, the establishment will open its doors to the public on June 27 as a sports bar and restaurant for people aged 21 and over. Jeff Denlea, vice president of hospitality for Levy at Wrigley Field, assures guests that the establishment will offer a great dining experience.
“This is going to be the most top-notch location to grab a bite to eat prior to a game or post game,” Denlea said. “The experience here and ambiance is unprecedented to any location we have in the Wrigley area.”
David Burns, executive chef at Levy, has curated the menu for the sports bar. The company remains confident that the bar’s attractions, including the food, will continue to draw in customers.
“We’re trying to keep it more unique with our twist on it. More of a higher level than you see at sports bars around here,” Burns said.
In a similar move last fall, the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks made headlines by unveiling the FanDuel Sportsbook adjacent to the United Center. Like its counterpart, the venue awaits regulatory approval to kickstart its sports betting operations.