NU to use campus field for 2024?

The Tribune is reporting that NU has asked the city of Evanston for permission to use the lakeside field used by the soccer and lacrosse teams for some (possibly all) home football games during the 2024 season. Temporary stands holding around 15,000 would be built.

Here is the link

and another article.
We would definitely be interested in renewing our tickets if it comes to pass. I am not interested in any of the Chicago locations ESPECIALLY Wrigley.

It’s gonna be a mess any way we go with it (surprised they didn’t have a plan in place before swinging the wrecking ball!) … but this intrigues me!

It would be an absolutely stunning setting for college football in the early part of the season … an an absolutely brutal climate for games late in the season if the wind is coming off the lake.

Still, it wouldn’t be permanent and could work. Parking would be a mess, but with the students taking up half of the seats pretty much, they can walk and it could give us a home field edge at times.

Plus, I would LOVE to see the spectacle of Gus!!! and the Fox Crew broadcasting a game from a tiny little stadium on the lakefront a week after being with 100,000+ in Ann Arbor, Columbus or Happy Valley.
And I would LOVE to see UCLA or SC playing a November game in those brutal lakefront conditions.

This intrigues me far more than another Wrigley game or moving “home” games to Lambeau and such. And like I said, it wouldn’t be permanent but a great story about the process in getting to our new venue one day – sort of like those years of pain we had to endure in basketball with finding a home while Welsh-Ryan was renovated (and it was worth it with our home venue now being one of the best home court advantages in the country and fitting for our campus).


I thought it was a great idea when it was announced and still think so.

I was wondering why NU would need permission to host the event, but then the need to get a building permit for a large structure, even if temporary makes sense. It also makes sense from the PR point of view, because thousands of cars flooding into the campus neighborhood is going to upset some people. So being able to stand behind the city’s zoning approval will make things a little easier for NU.

If they end up doing it, I predict home game tickets will become a hot item in Chicago. Scarcity promotes urgency. Urgency translates into value. Value translates into donations from grateful alums.

People will want to go because it will be like seeing the stones play at Toads in New Haven. Seven games only (trib said six). Miami (OH), Duke, Eastern, Indiana, Wisky, OSU, and Illini. Sit in a stadium in the middle of Evanston campus, on the lake, with a million dollar view of Chicago. Fewer seats than the biggest hs stadiums in the area. Season ticket holders and students are almost guaranteed to outnumber visitors. That means that the secondary market price for tickets will soar particularly for the Wisky, OSU, and Illini games. When will you have another opportunity to see a B1G football game in a sold-out stadium with just 15K of your closest friends?

I may sign up for a season package just as an investment. :slight_smile:


Why is parking a concern?

The west lot, golf course, and the medical building lots are still available. The shuttles would just have to go the opposite direction. Only the east lot is blocked off.

Furthermore you could reverse the parking priority giving the highest point holding season ticket holders access to campus lots and the lowest the west lot.

The el distance is the same, but the metra is longer. Many less people metra than el.

Crowd concerns would be less as when you leave the stadium you are still on university property for a quarter mile, which avoids a lot of the litter and worst behavior. Tailgating could be the south lakefill and the norris lawn along with deering meadow.

The zoning application is routine. You need a building permit to build anything, and to get a building permit, you have to comply with the zoning code or get a variance. As a preliminary step, Northwestern is seeking a determination from the zoning administrator that the proposal would comply with zoning. It sounds like it will. I haven’t heard of any opposition to the plan, and the local City council member has said she’s in favor of it (not that it matters, as the issue isn’t one that will go before the City Council for any reason—if they were to need City Council approval, they would need a lot more lead time).

I still don’t really see how the logistics will work out, but I hope it works because I’ll prefer even being in the endzone on the lakefront to 50-yard line seats out in Bridgeview, which is nowhere close to Evanston. (And incidentally, if you actually know about any high school stadiums in the area that can seat anywhere near 15,000 people, we could just play there, but there aren’t any.)

I still think we will see the November games at Wrigley Field, though.