Courtesy of Northwestern Athletic Communications
CHICAGO, Ill. – Northwestern’s scheduled November 7, 2020, football game against the University of Wisconsin will not be played at Wrigley Field, the Department of Athletics & Recreation and the Chicago Cubs announced Wednesday. The decision was made after close consultation with the Cubs, state and local authorities and the Big Ten Conference, and in consideration of the myriad challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a disappointing conclusion to reach, but absolutely the right one in our current environment,” said Combe Family Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips. “The uncertainty of football and baseball schedules, and the possibility of limited attendance, made this an easy choice to make for our student-athletes and fans. We’re grateful for our outstanding partners from the Cubs, and look forward to bringing the passion and pageantry of college football gameday to the city’s north side when we can do so safely and securely with a packed house.”
In 2010, Northwestern and the Cubs brought college football back to Wrigley Field for the first time since 1938, complete with a visit from ESPN’s College Gameday. Soon thereafter, the two organizations signed an innovative event and marketing partnership that promised future football games and a variety of other Wildcats competitions at the iconic ballpark. Shortly after the agreement was struck, Wildcats lacrosse defeated Southern California inside the Friendly Confines, and Northwestern baseball blanked Michigan behind a nine-strikeout, three-hit, complete game by eventual Cubs reliever Luke Farrell.
“After consulting with Jim Phillips and Northwestern’s Athletics Department, postponing the next installment of Northwestern football at Wrigley Field made sense given the great number of challenges and uncertainty to navigate in a pandemic environment,” said Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney. “We look forward to welcoming the Wildcats back to the Friendly Confines to play in front of a capacity crowd of Northwestern fans as soon as possible.”
Northwestern football is slated to kick off the 2020 campaign on Saturday, September 5, with a Big Ten Conference tilt at Michigan State in East Lansing.