N’western to play most home games on lakefront

  • Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Senior WriterApr 10, 2024, 07:34 PM ET


    • College football press reporter.
    • Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
    • Graduate of Northwestern University.Northwestern will play the majority of its home

    football games during the 2024 and 2025 seasons at a temporary on-campus arena flanking Lake Michigan, while construction happens to restore Ryan Field.The short-lived stadium will be built on the website where the school’s lacrosse

    and soccer groups(males’s and females’s)play and will continue to host events for those sports. Northwestern likely will play some home football games at Wrigley Field– where it hosted games in 2010, 2021 and 2023– and possibly other Chicago-area locations, but many contests will be held on campus.Wildcats coach David Braun told ESPN that the on-campus facility will”bridge the space between today and a new Ryan Field,” which is set to open for the 2026 season.”We’re thrilled to have something that is genuinely ours, “Braun stated. “It’s playing at home, using school. Part of college athletics and the thing that makes it

    so special is the campus community participation. It supplies the opportunity for an extraordinary home-field advantage. “Braun thanked university president Michael Schill, board of trustees chair Peter Barris, athletic director Derrick Gragg and coaches of other impacted groups for supporting the momentary arena plan, which had been pointed out a number of years ago however wasn’t considered a strong choice till the past few months. Northwestern had conversations with Wrigley Field, Soldier Field and SeatGeek Stadium about hosting games in 2024 and 2025. Building and construction to reconstruct Ryan Field, a project estimated at around $800 million, began in February.Northwestern did not reveal a specific capability or other details for the temporary arena, as the setup is still being created, besides to note that it will be “significantly less”than both the initial Ryan Field( 47,130)and the new version(35,000)

    . Season-ticket holders will have the first top priority to secure tickets, and students also will have a reserved area in the facility, as construction will start this summertime. Northwestern typically has actually had sizable contingents of checking out groups’fans at its home games.The school is partnering with InProduction, which built seating for last year’s NASCAR event in downtown Chicago, as well as temporary seating, staging and structures for college teams at Hawai’i and Florida State.”A lot of things still need to be exercised, however I have a lot of self-confidence we can fix,”Braun stated

    .”Credit to other groups that utilize this space for a willingness to interact to see if this was something that is truly an option. It’s a tight-knit community that supported one another. I’m simply truly delighted.”The Wildcats have home games this coming season against Miami(Ohio), Duke, Eastern Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Illinois. Braun told ESPN that” select”games will be used campus and some could still be moved, particularly to a place like Wrigley Field after the Major League Baseball season.Braun said players were”thrilled”to find out about the on-campus stadium, keeping in mind that he had been frequently inquired about it in current weeks as talk of the possibility grew.”The main issue for me was what our student-athlete experience was going to be for 2 years,” he said.”To have a situation where our guys aren’t traveling to different venues each week, taking a trip long distances on buses after games, rather we’re on school. As it emerged that we needed to check out all alternatives, I’m happy that our university leadership made the very best decision for our student-athletes.”Our guys recognize this is an amazing opportunity. “

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