Barstool Sports to Open Second Chicago Office

Penn Entertainment’s Barstool Sports is opening another office in Chicago — its second location in the third-largest US city.

Barstool
A clip of a video tour of Barstool Sports’ original Chicago office. The company is opening another in the city. (Image: YouTube)

The sports and pop culture media entity co-founded by David Portnoy leased new office space at 400 N. Noble St. near Fulton Market, according to various local media reports. Barstool’s original Chicago office is located in the Lakeview area of the city and it operates a branded sports bar in the River North neighborhood. The company will remain headquartered in New York City. Parent Penn Entertainment is based in Pennsylvania.

Barstool spokesperson Debra Duffy told Windy City media outlets that some employees will move from New York to the new Chicago office. The new 400,000-squar-foot space will feature amenities such as basketball courts, golf simulators and recording studios, among others. Such offerings are common at gaming company offices, but are also being eliminated across other industries as some corporations look to trim spending in preparation of a potential recession.

Penn operates four casinos in Illinois. The company’s Barstool Sportsbook offers mobile sports betting in Illinois.

Barstool Adding Staff in Chicago, Other Companies Fleeing

Barstool adding more office space in Chicago is counter to what’s been a common corporate theme afflicting the city: Major corporations leaving due to rampant crime.

Last year, companies such as Boeing, Caterpillar and Tyson Foods announced moves to other states or other parts of Illinois, though Boeing didn’t cite Chicago’s crime as a reason for its move to Northern Virginia. McDonald’s, long based just outside of Chicago, also acknowledged it’s concerned about criminal activity in the city, though it hasn’t announced plans to move.

Perhaps the most stinging rebuke of Chicago’s and Illinois’ one-party rule arrived last year when billionaire Ken Griffin said he’s moving his $57 billion Citadel hedge fund to Miami, citing Chicago’s budget woes and crime. While that move will result in the loss of just 400 jobs, those are high-paying roles, meaning a substantial ding to the city’s and state’s revenue could be in the offing.

So deep are the state’s budget issues — caused mostly by declining population and massive public pension obligations — Illinois was the only state to borrow money under the CARES Act during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Those loans were later repaid.

Barstool Not Only Gaming Company with Eyes for Chicago

Owing to the state’s financial crunch, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) in 2020 signed off on legislation allowing the first casino within the Chicago city limits as well as five more gaming venues in Waukegan, Rockford, South Suburbs, Williamson County, and Danville.

The $1.7 billion Chicago casino-hotel will be operated by Bally’s in that company’s priciest project to date. Full House Resorts will run American Place in Waukegan and the operator already said that venue will be by far the largest revenue driver in its portfolio.

Tilman Fertitta’s Golden Nugget was selected to run the Danville gaming property while Hard Rock International — the gaming arm of Florida’s Seminole Tribe — will control the Rockford casino-hotel.

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