Northwestern Trustees Approve Plan For New Multi-Purpose Athletic Facility On Lake Michigan
The Northwestern Univ. Board of Trustees on Friday “voted in favor of a plan to build a multipurpose facility on Lake Michigan that would benefit several teams,” according to Teddy Greenstein of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The school is “prepared to commit” between $225-250M for the project. Sources said that they “expect the on-campus facility to be a ‘game-changer’ for football recruiting," and that football players will be able to practice and meet with coaches and advisers "without having to trudge a mile west to the Ryan Field area." The Northwestern women's lacrosse team, and men's and women's soccer teams “stand to benefit as officials enhance Lakeside Field and build new locker rooms.” There is "no word yet on when the university could unveil the plan or when groundbreaking would begin." Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald “has told football recruits he hopes the facility can open” in August ’14. While one source said that August '14 "was possible," another source said that it was "overly ambitious." Northwestern in October '10 had previously announced its "master plan" for a facilities upgrade, and AD Jim Phillips in September '11 “presented the findings of a study” by sports architecture firm Populous to Northwestern's trustees (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/15). In Chicago, Neil Hayes noted the project also includes "a 12,000-car parking garage, a multipurpose indoor practice facility with seating for 2,500, an outdoor practice field, locker rooms, fitness-and-weight rooms, sports medicine facilities as well as meeting rooms and offices" (SUNTIMES.com, 9/15).