Northwestern, Wrigley Team Up Again — And Not Just For Football Games
WRIGLEYVILLE — Cubbie blue's about to get a little more purple.
Northwestern University Wildcat sports teams will be playing more games at Wrigley Field in a multi-year deal, the university announced with the Cubs Tuesday.
Wildcats have played football in Wrigley Field before, but now many of Northwestern's 19 varsity sports could potentially play in the ballpark, including lacrosse, baseball and five football games.
On April 20, Wrigley Field will host Northwestern baseball as they play against the University of Michigan. And next spring, the field will host Northwestern's women's lacrosse team as they play against the University of Notre Dame. The scheduling of five football games is pending until Wrigley Field renovation dates are confirmed.
Northwestern won't host a football game at the Friendly Confines in 2013, but possibly in 2014, officials said.
The deal will also allows Northwestern to market in the ballpark, including a presence in the concourse and fan giveaways.
"We enjoyed working with the university in 2010 to host the first college football game at Wrigley Field since 1938," said Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Cubs in a statement, "and look forward to entertaining a variety of collegiate sporting events in the future."
In 2010, when the Cats last played football at Wrigley, the Big Ten announced at the last minute that the east side end zone was too close to the brick wall in right field. As a result, action was steered away from that end zone by making all offensive plays head west.
Northwestern officials said that won't be an issue this time because stadium renovations will be made to free up more space, allowing for safety zones behind both end zones.
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the team's day-to-day operations.