SBD/March 11, 2013/Facilities

Northwestern Assures Evanston Of Six Games At Ryan Field Despite Wrigley Field Deal

NU would lose a Ryan Field game only if seven home games were scheduled
Northwestern Univ. has "promised" Evanston, Ill., it will "keep six football games a year at Ryan Field under a recent agreement to play more at Wrigley Field," according to Patrick Svitek of NU student newspaper the DAILY NORTHWESTERN. Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl on Friday "announced there's a 'new twist' in the NU pact" with the Cubs to hold as many as five football games at Wrigley over the next five years. Tisdahl said, "If Wrigley is reconstructed and can accommodate a football game, that's a big if. Then [University President Morton] Schapiro assured me that Evanston will keep six home games a year at Ryan Field. Only when there is a seventh home game will one be played at Wrigley, and it will not be against a marquee team that sells out." Svitek noted it remains unclear if NU's games at Wrigley will not be the "blockbuster match-ups" that Tisdahl mentioned. NU AD Jim Phillips said the school's opponents at Wrigley "won't be any school that we're just going to write in that we play them every year at a place." He added, "When we're going to start, it will really depend on the Cubs' schedule, Northwestern's schedule, and most importantly, the construction schedule. So we don't have a definite date. It won't be in '13. We'll work closely with the Cubs to find out when that'll be" (DAILYNORTHWESTERN.com, 3/10). In Chicago, Bob Seidenberg wrote, "Some in the Evanston business community did not react well to the announcement -- which also caught city officials unaware." Tisdahl "used Friday’s address to assure business leaders that the Wildcats are not abandoning Evanston" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/9).
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