Results tagged ‘ Northwestern football ’

Cubs and Northwestern are bringing football back to Wrigley


(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Chicago Cubs and Northwestern University Athletics announced a historic partnership on Tuesday that will bring football back to Wrigley Field for the first time since Northwestern and Illinois squared off in 2010. The multiyear, innovative event and reciprocal marketing partnership will showcase a wide range of Wildcats athletic programs—including baseball, lacrosse and five Northwestern football games—at historic Wrigley Field in the coming years.

“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 and 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.”

As part of the partnership, the Friendly Confines will potentially serve as a home venue for many of Northwestern’s 19 varsity programs over the coming years. Two sports programs have set tentative dates to kick off the partnership. On April 20, Northwestern baseball will host the Michigan Wolverines in a Big Ten matchup. In spring 2014, the Wildcats’ women’s lacrosse team, winner of seven of the last eight NCAA championships under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, plans to host regional rival Notre Dame.

According to Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, all profits from these events will go back into the Cubs baseball operations. The dates of the five football games are yet to be determined, as Big Ten schedules are being reworked due to the additions of Maryland and Rutgers. The restoration of Wrigley Field is also a factor.

“To do this on a consistent basis, we have to have a renovation of the park so that the field fits the right way,” said Cubs owner Tom Ricketts. “But we’ve anticipated that in our designs, and we look forward to making sure we get the right renovations in so we can hold a [football] game every year.”

Cubs blue, Wildcats purple

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgLooking up at the scoreboard, where there normally would be a line score for a Cubs game, it read: NOVEMBER 20 2010.

Most of the men wearing suits had purple ties accompanying them. Northwestern University flags flew above the scoreboard along side the United States flag.

On either foul pole, purple mixed with yellow, as Northwestern flags flew where Billy, Ryno, Fergie/Greg, Ernie and Ron usually fly.

Even on the podium the Northwestern logo had supplanted the Cubs logo. In the center of the stage sat two Northwestern football helmets and a football. The flavor of the morning was unmistakable.

NW helmets 2.jpgIt was announced today at a press conference this morning that Northwestern football would host the University of Illinois at Wrigley Field on Nov. 20 at 11 am CST. It marks the first college game played at Wrigley Field since 1938. 

Some dignitaries attending the event were the Bears’ matriarch Virginia McCaskey and her son, Brian, Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald, two Northwestern players–quarterback Dan Persa and lineman Corbin Bryant, as well as former Bears players Ronnie Bull and Mike Adamle. Northwestern football radio play-by-play man and longtime WGN sports director Dave Eanet emceed the event.

NW Ricketts McCaskey.jpgDown in the Cubs clubhouse, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts presented Virginia and Brian McCaskey with a framed print of Wrigley Field’s marquee welcoming back Virginia to the park where her Bears played so many games.

This will be the first time in more than 87 years that Northwestern and Illinois will play at Wrigley Field.

On Oct. 27, 1923, the Wildcats and the Illini squared off at the Friendly Confines (then called Cubs Park) in front of 32,000 fans.

–Mike Huang