(USA Today Sports Images)
No peanuts, no problems.
Northwestern's game Saturday against Minnesota will be sans peanuts after the school announced the move on Tuesday. And no, it's not because Minnesota is a big purveyor of peanuts and it's a way to jab at the Gophers (gophers do not eat peanuts either). Instead, the move is for people with nut allergies.
"Nut allergies affect a sizable segment of the population and those people have to be very conscious of it at all times, in environments outside their control," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said in the announcement on the school's website. "This special day will give many people that may never have attended a live sporting event the opportunity to experience Chicago's Big Ten Team for the first time. Our entire football family is thrilled to be part of such a great initiative."
In addition to peanuts not being sold at the game, they'll also be prohibited from being brought into the stadium. The school says that the stadium will also "undergo extensive cleaning" to ensure that there are no peanuts anywhere on the premises.
According to a 2010 study, the rate of childhood peanut allergies in the United States tripled between 1997-2008.
It'll be interesting to gauge the reaction of fans in attendance Saturday and if the maneuver helps attendance and people with severe peanut allergies take advantage of the promotion. According to the Daily Northwestern, the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees have done similar promotions before, but the school thinks this is unprecedented for a college football game.
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