Stadium proposal move forward a little

Since the first stage of the project is demolition of the stadium, which can’t start until after Saturday’s home finale, my guess is a one-week delay won’t have a material impact on the schedule.

But, will it be just a one-week delay? Don’t count on it. I started watching just after the vote to table, but if there were enough votes to table the motion this week, what reason is there to think there won’t be enough votes to table it again next week? It only takes a few weeks of delays before the schedule does become infeasible.

Mike Nolan

Another stadium article with more detail

Also we showed up in NR about hate speech

<paywall, but 3 free articles a month I believe>

and the Daily’s take on it which was very similar to the Evanston Roundtable article

The stadium proposal will be approved on Monday night including the zoning change to allow concerts. The Mayor has negotiated what he thinks is a fair deal, and he will break the 4-4 tie on the City Council (one member is a Northwestern employee and has recused himself).

Tomorrow’s game against Purdue will be the last game in the current Ryan Field. The end of my 30th season attending games there. 4-1 is already a better record for the final home season than we could have expected, but I’m hoping for one more win for the final send off. I think the team will be motivated.

I want to hear the roar when they introduce HEAD COACH David Braun!

I have to think, but I don’t think they introduce the coach on the PA.

The best that could happen was extra loudness when the team enters the field.

My favorite thing about the last home game is the March of The Steelman aka Old Plus Four marching drill that ends every home season.

I am guessing a very small crowd as Purdue won’t contribute much. With an 11am the students don’t tend to show up until later.

Some of the retired people in my section leave today for Thanksgiving with family, which will also lower attendance.

Do they introduce the seniors separately for last home game?

Yes, and pictures with their families and the coaches

I think all the Senior Day activities took place before BTN signed on, but they did show some highlights.

Nice to end the Senior day on a high note. Figuring last game ever at Dyche / Ryan but that is not certain

Opponents of the new stadium have filed a lawsuit claiming the city council’s votes to approve the project were a ‘backroom deal’ and should be voided.

The lawsuit filed on Thursday won’t stop the stadium project from moving forward because it only challenges the City’s decision to amend the zoning code to permit concerts and some other commercial uses that are not currently permitted at Ryan Field.

The City Council granted the special use for a planned development to actually build the new stadium by a 6-2 vote (including the 7th ward council member voting to approve). The Land Use Commission had recommended approval of the planned development by a unanimous 9-0 vote, and very few community members objected to this decision.

The amendment to the zoning code to permit concerts and some other commercial uses was far more controversial with the Land Use Commission recommending to deny the request by a 7-2 vote, and the Mayor ultimately breaking a 4-4 tie on the City Council. The lawsuit only challenges this decision.

The “Community Benefits Agreement” is basically an insurance policy for Northwestern. All of the promised benefits are contingent on the zoning change. If the zoning change goes away, the Community Benefits Agreement goes away. So as I understand the arrangement, Northwestern can move forward with demolition with the comfort of knowing that if the zoning change is reversed, the Community Benefits Agreement is nullified.

And that’s without my any opinions on the the merits of the lawsuit.

However, I’m not sure if you had reported how demolition has been delayed because Northwestern and Evanston apparently only recently learned that the City can’t issue a demolition permit for Ryan Field without approval from a State of Illinois preservation commission, which apparently lacks authority to actually block the project, but must have a hearing before a demolition permit can be issued for some reason. That’s expected to delay the start of demolition by at least a couple of months.

The Evanston RoundTable is the best source of Evanston news, including reporting on the stadium project:

I’m pretty sure there was a post on the delay due to the need to consult the Illinois preservation commission, apparently that issue didn’t surface until some time in October.

What impact any delays will have hasn’t been determined yet. The original timeline was a 30 month schedule, which could mean any delays beyond March 1st could impact the availability of the new stadium for the 2026 season.

Although they can’t start demolition yet, I’m sure anything that isn’t nailed down can be moved out.