Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

66° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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NU requests city analysis on possible lakeside football field

Bleachers+behind+a+field.
Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman
Martin Stadium, which currently hosts NU’s lacrosse and soccer teams, could serve as a temporary home for the University’s football team while construction continues on Ryan Field.

Northwestern has applied for a city analysis to determine whether the University’s plans for potentially modifying Martin Stadium to hold football games will meet existing Evanston zoning requirements, according to a March 27 city manager’s report.

As Rebuild Ryan Field construction continues, NU is currently searching for a facility to host home football games, University spokesperson Eliza Larson said in a statement to The Daily. 

NU is considering adding capacity to Martin Stadium — which hosts the University’s lacrosse and soccer teams — for up to 15,000 spectators, according to the city manager’s report. 

Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) said after a “high level analysis,” city staff believes NU’s proposed use will align with current zoning regulations. 

“On the one hand, it’s kind of a wild idea,” Revelle said. “On the other hand, it’s got a lot of pluses.” 

Revelle said the Martin Stadium plan could funnel spectators to Evanston businesses on gameday and keep athletic contest tax revenues flowing to the city. 

In the event NU proceeds with the Martin Stadium option for football games in the short term, Revelle said she wonders whether alcohol will be sold at the athletic facility. Currently, city code allows alcohol sales on NU’s Evanston campus.

Larson did not respond to questions about alcohol sales or potential environmental impacts from Martin Stadium renovations.

“We have been in close contact with local venues to explore opportunities for the Wildcats to play at their facilities,” Larson wrote. “We are also exploring the feasibility of playing games on our campus in a temporary facility.”

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Related Stories: 

Residents remain concerned as Ryan Field demolition nears completion

Ryan Field zoning lawsuit parties clash after NU intervenes to dismiss case

City Council approves NU Ryan Field rebuild plan after months of debate

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