Northwestern University
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Northwestern University breaks ground on new football stadium

June 24, 2024
The new Ryan Field, which will seat 12,000 fewer people than the old stadium, is set to open in 2026.

Northwestern University has broken ground on an $800 million football stadium on the Evanston, Illinois, campus.

The Associated Press reports that the stadium, which will retain the name Ryan Field, will seat 35,000, down more than 12,000 from the old Ryan Field, which opened in 1926. It will have a canopy designed to keep noise and light focused on the field and has been designed to achieve Gold LEED certification.

The university says the costs of the new Ryan Field are being covered in part by a $480 million donation from the family of Patrick and Shirley Ryan.

The Evanston City Council approved plans last year for the new stadium, despite objections from nearby residents that events at the new Ryan Field, especially concerts, would lead to significant traffic, noise and parking problems.

Northwestern says it is targeting 35% of total subcontracted spending on the project to be earmarked for local, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses.

The facility is set to open in 2026 and will include a community park and public greenspaces.

Whuile the stadium is under construction, Northwestern will play most of its home games at its on-campus soccer and lacrosse facility.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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