Chicago-based McHugh Construction, the general contractor for the new 13,000-square-foot sports betting venue, said it recently began construction on the space, which is a build-out of a two-story area within the United Center adjacent to the atrium. The venue is slated for completion this August.
FanDuel Sportsbook, which had been announced in late January, is being constructed in areas that formerly housed offices for the United Center and Blackhawks staff, as well as two lower-level suites. HOK is the architect of record for the project. New York-based FanDuel said the two-story lounge is designed to give sports fans a fully immersive sportsbook and will be equipped with state-of-the-art viewing and sports wagering technology.
“Opening the existing floor structure allows for a tiered seating area and the installation of a two-story, high-definition video wall, which is sure to enhance any sports fans viewing experience,” Andy Totten, vice president for McHugh Construction, said in a statement, as reported by Chicago Business Journal.
The expansive screen will feature simultaneous feeds from multiple live sporting events. In addition, wagering kiosks will be placed throughout the facility, and the VIP area will be on the second floor. The facility also will have a large commercial kitchen and multiple bars that will provide food and beverage service.
McHugh said it’s in the process of hiring the 25-plus subcontractors required to complete the project and intends to meet or exceed the participation goals of 26% minority-owned business subcontracts and 6% women-one business subcontracts.
Some of McHugh’s most recent work at the United Center includes a 190,000-square-foot East addition to the building, and a nearby two-rink Blackhawks training and practice facility called Fifth Third Arena.
In December, the Chicago City Council agreed to lift the Chicago ban on sports betting and impose a Mayor-backed 2% tax on gross revenues from it, which allows sportsbooks to open in and around Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, the United Center and Wintrust Arena. The 2% city tax on gross revenues from sports betting is expected to generate $400,000 to $500,000 a year based on an estimated $25 million in annual revenues from sports betting in Chicago.
After launching in Arizona on September 9, FanDuel opened its retail sportsbook lounge located inside Footprint Center, home of the Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury. This was the first of its kind to be located inside an NBA arena.