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Wrigley Field construction update: June 24

The Cubs and DraftKings held a ceremony for the under-construction sports book at Wrigley.

The image above is a rendering the Cubs revealed Friday at Wrigley Field at an event noted as a “beam signing ceremony” (you’ll see in the photos below) for the DraftKings sports book currently under construction at the ballpark.

In attendance at this ceremony were the following:

Crane Kenney, Cubs President of Business Operations
Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder and CEO
Scot Pepper, President, Pepper Construction
Aleksandar Sasha Zeljic, Principal, Gensler
Andy Lansing, President and Chief Executive Officer, Levy

Kenney and Robins spoke before all five men signed a steel beam as part of the project. You can see all of that here:

After the ceremony, Kenney answered a few questions. The one I was most interested in was about President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer and his baseball budget. Kenney said that all the money — less various operating expenses — that comes from the sports book will go to the baseball operations budget. Kenney said that Hoyer has not spent all the money budgeted for baseball payroll this year — which I suspect most of us had guessed anyway. Whether this “overage” will roll over into 2023 is unknown at this time.

I was also told at this event that the sports book won’t open until the second quarter of 2023 (not the first quarter as I noted in this construction update earlier this week). Given that, and since there then won’t be any revenue from football gambling this fall or March Madness next year, I asked Kenney if that meant the first baseball payroll that money could affect would be 2024. Here’s his answer:

I suppose all we can hope, then, is when the big money the team hopes to bring in via this sports book begins to come in, that it will be put to the baseball budget and the team will spend on baseball players. They’re a big-market team. At some point they should start spending like one. As always, we await developments.

Here are some other photos from Friday at the ballpark, including several other renderings of what the sports book will look like.