Captured: Delayed fall season leaves Northwestern sports venues, and their surroundings, lifeless


Joshua Hoffman/Daily Senior Staffer

Empty benches on Lakeside Field. The field hockey team is awaiting news on whether their season will begin.

Joshua Hoffman, Senior Staffer

Last September, Northwestern athletes were already in the midst of their fall seasons, playing in front of crowds donning the Wildcat purple and white. Men and women’s soccer and field hockey battled opponents on the shores of Lake Michigan, volleyball spiked shots onto the court at Welsh-Ryan Arena, and football dueled Big Ten foes on the gridiron at Ryan Field. 

And then COVID-19 happened. 

For the last six months, these venues have all sat empty with no fans, no athletes and no Willie the Wildcat. But on Wednesday morning, the Big Ten announced a return to football in late October, with decisions on other fall sports coming later in the week. So before any team takes its home field, Daily senior staffer Joshua Hoffman captured what no sports at NU and in Evanston looks like. 

On the other side of Martin Stadium is another turf that has been barren for months: Lakeside Field, the home of field hockey. 

Welsh-Ryan Arena’s entrance and lobby likely won’t be buzzing with Wildcat fans headed to watch a volleyball game this fall.
The largest venue that will sit empty until competition resumes is Ryan Field. Even if few fans attend games in 2020, there will likely be no west lot tailgates, no N Zone and no Wildcat Alley.

The loss of sports has extended beyond campus and into Evanston. Even with the return of football, stores along Central Street such as Let’s Tailgate and Mustard’s Last Stand probably won’t get their usual gameday traffic.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @joshuadhoffman

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