The Northwestern Wildcats will play five future football games at Wrigley Field in Chicago, NU Athletics and the Chicago Cubs announced today.
Dates and opponents for the those five football games will be announced at a later date due to the scheduling of the Wrigley Field restoration project.
Northwestern has also agreed to feature several other athletic programs at the historic stadium, including baseball and lacrosse. One date is already set: Northwestern baseball will host Michigan on April 20, 2013.
“We are thrilled to partner with a professional sports franchise as iconic as the Chicago Cubs in an agreement that truly is the first of its kind,” said Jim Phillips, Northwestern University Vice President For Athletics & Recreation. “As Chicago’s Big Ten Team, this is a natural fit that will create tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans in the area. I’d like to personally thank the Ricketts family and the entire Cubs executive team for all of their efforts in bringing this remarkable partnership to fruition.”
On November 10, 2010, Northwestern fell to Illinois 48-27 in the first football game played at Wrigley Field since 1970. The field used an East-West configuration (home plate to right field), but clearances by as little as one foot between the East end zone and the outfield wall forced them to play only towards the West end zone.
Wrigley Field End Zone Update
The Chicago Cubs told ESPN that they will adjust the field so that both end zones can be used going forward.
“We would move the dugout top, and that would allow us to put a 12-foot perimeter around the whole field, which would satisfy the NCAA,” Cubs president Crane Kenney said. “That’s not an issue with enough time to work on it in advance and would be part of our renovation plan.”