Mixed feelings toward the new Cubs DraftKings sportsbook
Sports betting is bigger than it ever, especially in the state of Illinois. Retail betting companies are massive and are partnering with sports entities all over the country. One watches a sporting event on TV and is constantly force-fed commercials featuring online sports betting companies. There are even sports shows/segments focused specifically on talking about betting. Now, the Chicago Cubs are getting in on it.
Back in August 2021 the Cubs were given the go-ahead by the city to build a massive sportsbook at Wrigley Field. This had been in the works for a while. The Cubs are partnering with DraftKings, in a deal that is said to be around $100 million, to make this happen. A 22,350-square-foot building will be attached to the historic ballpark on the corner of Addison and Sheffield. This week the construction project began, the very same week MLB canceled games, and not everyone is happy about it.
Feelings toward the Cubs new massive sportsbook at Wrigley Field
Look, not everyone is going to feel the same way about this new addition to the Friendly Confines. There are people who really enjoy betting and could have a lot of fun at the new sportsbook. It will probably be really cool inside with the ability to observe tons of games going on all around. It is also worth noting that the United Center is partnering with FanDuel to have a sportsbook as well. There will certainly be an audience for it, and people will go to it. What might make people feel uneasy is the timing of all of this.
It was not long ago when Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts used the infamous phrase, “biblical losses” when talking about the supposed financial hit the team took in 2020. Now, MLB and the MLBPA are working to reach an agreement on a new CBA and it has been ugly so far. Games have been slashed off the schedule and neither side is happy with the other. But here is a sportsbook! Had the timing or circumstances during this been different, maybe feelings would be a tad different as well. Right now, it’s kind of frustrating.
Of course, there are those who probably never would have liked it, which is understandable. Not everyone is into gambling and this sportsbook is taking up pretty much the entire space on Addison and Sheffield. Hard to imagine how cramped the foot traffic around that area of the park is going to be now. That area was kind of nice to have wide open for people to move a bit more freely around the park. There is also fear that this massive addition will further hurt the historic image of Wrigley Field. This will be yet another a significant change to the Wrigleyville experience.
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Is it really a surprise this is happening? No, it shouldn’t be. The Cubs are one of the most profitable sports franchises in America and sports betting is an absolute cash cow. We fans might not like it, but it’s hard to be surprised a multi-billion dollar franchise wants to continue to increase revenue. That said, if there is no CBA agreement, then there will be little enthusiasm from the fans to come out to a baseball-less ballpark.