The Northwestern Wildcats faced off against in-state rival Illinois in the Wrigleyville Classic in 2010. The game was such a rousing success in terms of publicity that both the school and the franchise have been in talks to work out a more long-term agreement for Northwestern football in the heart of Chicagoland ever since.
On Tuesday, the athletic department announced what it has termed “an innovative, multi-year event and reciprocal marketing partnership that will showcase a wide range of Wildcats athletic programs at historic Wrigley Field in coming years, including baseball, lacrosse and five Wildcats football games.”
“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 & 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. I’d like to personally thank the Ricketts family and the entire Cubs executive team for all of their efforts in bringing this remarkable partnership to fruition.”
The game in 2010 was remarkable for a few reasons. Of course, first and foremost was the fact that the state’s two Big Ten teams were facing off in a 100-year old baseball stadium nestled into one of the city’s most busy and crowded neighborhoods.
Secondly, and perhaps even more interestingly, was the fact that there was only one end zone. There was not enough space between the back of the end zone and the brick wall out in right field to allow players to reach paydirt from that direction. Thus, teams swtiched every possession, sharing one end zone throughout the game.
However, the Cubs have announced massive remodeling plans for one of the world’s most iconic sports venues. No Northwestern sporting events will take place until after the construction is finished, making 2014 the earliest year possible for any regular season games.
However, if the Cubs are still playing baseball in October, the Wildcats may have to wait until November or even 2015.
Hey, a fan can dream, right?