CHICAGO — Northwestern’s Nov. 20 date with Illinois at Wrigley Field will bring a college football festival to Chicago. But Wildcats officials hope the excitement and the financial benefits continue for more than one afternoon.
"We’re trying to increase our season tickets, absolutely, to leverage our season tickets," athletic director Jim Phillips said Friday.
Fans will need to buy Northwestern season tickets for five games at Ryan Field to get the tickets to the Wrigley game. Northwestern has a 31,000-seat allotment for the Illinois matchup, Wrigley’s first football contest since a Bears-Packers game in 1970. The field’s capacity for football should be around 40,000 fans, Cubs president Crane Kenney said.
As for logistics, the 100-yard playing area will stretch from the third-base line toward right field, and the area will be completely grass, Kenney said. Teams will share a sideline that will cover left and centerfields. Players will dress in locker rooms, though Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said some of his players might dress on campus in Evanston. The Wildcats also might take an elevated train to the game instead of a chartered bus.
Dave Curtis is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.