Home / News / Demolition begins at Northwestern University’s Ryan Field – Chicago Tribune

Demolition begins at Northwestern University’s Ryan Field – Chicago Tribune


Demolition of Northwestern University’s 98-year-old Ryan Field began Friday; This is a major step that will allow the school to rebuild a newer, state-of-the-art stadium for football matches and concerts.

Controversial plan upsets residents of Evanston and neighboring Wilmette Struggling with universities and MPs To prevent the new stadium from becoming commercialized in the middle of a residential area.

Northwestern announces demolition will begin in late January on January 29 but it was postponed to February 16.

Demolition, along with the construction of the new building, is expected to take three to four months. 800 million dollar stadium It will be completed for the 2026 college football season. The university has yet to announce where the Wildcats will play in the interim.

Residents of both Evanston and Wilmette, just over the city line from the athletic complex where Ryan Field is located, opposed the university’s plans to use the new stadium as a venue for up to a maximum of six concerts per year. They argued that traffic congestion, noise pollution, parking difficulties and other problems would seriously affect their way of life. Advocates of increasing stadium use state that if more events are held in the stadium, activities in the city’s dwindling city center could increase.

A narrow 5-4 vote on the Evanston City Council and Mayor Daniel Biss’ tiebreaking solidified the university’s ability to host concerts. In return, the city will receive a significant benefits package that provides funds over the next 15 years to revitalize downtown, provide racial equity training and provide the city with a local workforce development program, and discretionary funding raised from event ticket surcharges, among other benefits. Once the package expires, the university will be able to continue hosting events at the stadium.

One Agreement between Evanston and WilmetteThe project, approved by both municipalities this week, will help alleviate some of the problems that the commercialization of Ryan Field could cause for nearby Wilmette residents. Many spoke out against the agreement at the Wilmette Village Board meeting on Feb. 13. I beg the village to file a lawsuit. He opposes Evanston’s zoning change allowing concerts at Ryan Field before the Feb. 16 deadline.

The board continued as follows unanimously approved the agreementHe says the lawsuit doesn’t guarantee any protection, but the settlement might.

A. Lawsuit filed by Evanston’s Most Livable City Association It states that the zoning vote violates residents’ due process and alleges that some officials are “colluding in the background.”

Despite this, there has been little pushback on reconstruction, with some acknowledging the dilapidated state of the existing stadium.

“It’s getting worse. It’s a difficult place to keep safe. Frankly, it doesn’t have a lot of the amenities that venues around the country have for college football, so we know it needs something,” Northwestern’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Luke Figora said at the October 30, 2023 Evanston meeting. City Council meeting.

Evanston City Council votes The vote, 6-2, approves demolishing and rebuilding the stadium, while Council members Clare Kelly and Thomas Suffredin oppose the measure.

Demolition and construction will take place Monday through Saturday, according to the university.


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