UPDATE: Since the original publication of this post, Raid Battles have started appearing in all kinds of gyms, not just sponsored ones. However, these are currently only available to those who are level 25 and above.
Pokemon Go players this week are all desperately trying to locate sponsored gyms. That’s because these are the only locations where Raid Battles are currently taking place. So which gyms are sponsored? Where can the average player find these locations in order to participate in Raid Battles?
Many Starbucks, Sprint, and Boost Mobile locations are PokeStops. However, not all of them are. There doesn’t seem to be much of a rhyme or reason to which locations are sponsored gyms and which ones aren’t, and there is no definitive list available online.
Still, if you’re hoping to find a sponsored gym where you can participate in a raid battle, it’s worth looking for the Starbucks, Sprint and Boost Mobile locations in your area and checking to see if they have any Raid Battles happening at them. You can find a directory of Starbucks locations here, Sprint locations here, and Boost Mobile locations here.
At this time, it seems that most Raid Battles are taking place at Starbucks, and so heading there first would be your best bet.
In addition, in Japan, over 3,000 McDonald’s locations are sponsored gyms.
You don’t actually have to make the trek all the way to the location to find out if a raid is going on, though. Once the gym is within a certain distance, you may see a Raid Egg appear on top of the gym with a countdown; this indicates that a raid is about to take place there. You will also receive a notification if you’re close by the gym and a raid is about to take place.
However, this feature is currently only available for players who are level 28 and over, and so if you’re under level 28, you should not yet waste your time searching for sponsored gyms. Niantic has said that the raid feature will roll out to more players in the coming weeks.