Northwestern to play most home football games in temporary on-campus stadium in 2024, 2025

By Kevin Kelley -

The Northwestern Wildcats will play most of their home football games in a temporary on-campus stadium during the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the school announced on Wednesday.

With Ryan Field undergoing a complete rebuild, the Wildcats will call the Lanny and Sharon Martin athletics facility home for the next two seasons. Northwestern will build temporary seating at the venue, which will keep the team on campus for the majority of its home games.

“I am thrilled that we could make this happen. It’s truly a win for our community,” Northwestern University President Michael Schill said. “In addition to creating a wonderful fan experience in the lead-up to the opening of Ryan Field, hosting games on campus will reduce the travel burdens for our student-athletes and fans and will make games much more accessible. We also are pleased to keep the economic benefits of football gamedays in Evanston.”

It should be emphasized that the school has said that “most” of its home games the next two seasons will be played at the temporary location. The school is “…continuing discussions with other Chicago-area venues that could host some 2024 games” and the complete home schedule “…will be released soon.”

Northwestern is scheduled to open the 2024 season with three consecutive games at home against the Miami RedHawks (Aug. 31), Duke Blue Devils (Sept. 7), and Eastern Illinois Panthers (Sept. 14). All three of those contests are likely candidates for the temporary stadium.

The Wildcats are scheduled to host four Big Ten opponents in 2024 — Indiana on Oct. 5, Wisconsin on Oct. 19, Ohio State on Nov. 16, and Illinois on Nov. 30. The Ohio State and Wisconsin contests are prime candidates to be played at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field or another Chicago-area site.

The exact configuration of the temporary structure is still under development, but the seating capacity will be significantly less than the old Ryan Field.

“To be able to play these games on campus is a huge advantage for our football program and will be a great benefit to our reigning national champion and top-ranked lacrosse team and both the women’s and men’s soccer programs,” said Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Dr. Derrick Gragg. “We look forward to welcoming fans and the entire Northwestern community to this beautiful area of campus to cheer on our Wildcat student-athletes.”

2024 Northwestern Football Schedule

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Comments (14)

I’ll be impressed if it’s that many.

For anybody familiar with the footprint, it’s hard to see where more than a couple thousand could find room for seating.

It is nice that students won’t have to go 10-15-20 miles away for most of the home games.

Agreed, even 10k feels like a stretch especially if they intend to keep using the adjacent fields on non-gamedays. Outside of the view or convenience Mt Trashmore looks more logical, the whole situation feels like a boondoggle of poor planning and negotiating with the other Chicago venues.

They’re going to extend the footprint to the football practice field to the south and most of the seats will be at the end zones at the north and south ends. Also, we’ll see tiered seating like we see at the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.

I haven’t been to Ryan (Dyche) Field in years, but every time I was there, the fans of the opponent outnumbered the Northwestern fans.

Don’t you want Ryan Field to look excellent again.

Dan hopes that University Of Hawaii will have much larger Stadium in future.

Its shameful what has happened ro UH football especially given the Aloha stadium issues had been apparent for well over a decade prior to the closing.

UofHshould have just built their own on-campus stadium using the TC Ching complex footprint instead of dancing around the Aloha Stadium funding issues.

Clearly, Northwestern no longer belongs in the B1G if this is their “solution”. For football’s sake, many true power 5 schools have rebuilt their stadiums in stages over the last couple decades… A&M, Florida, Bama, Iowa, etc. without ever reducing attendance to a laughable FCS level.
They should be relegated to the MAC.