Northwestern football to play Ohio State, Illinois at Wrigley Field this season while Ryan Field undergoes a rebuild

Northwestern University announced the Wildcats will be taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini at Wrigley Field during the 2024 football season, according to a news release from the university.

Those games, on Nov. 16 and Nov. 30 respectively, will be the final two home games of the season. Northwestern lost 10-7 to Iowa at Wrigley Field on Nov. 4 last season.

The five other 2024 home games — against Miami (Ohio), Duke, Eastern Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin — will be played at a temporary field housed on the Lanny and Sharon Martin Lakeside Facility while the $80 million rebuild of Ryan Field is completed.

The temporary football venue will hold approximately 15,000 spectators on the grounds typically used for the university’s home lacrosse and soccer matches. Ryan Field had a capacity of 47,130.

Tickets will first be made available to 2023 season ticket holders and others interested in purchasing tickets can join a waitlist for further information.

The Wildcats’ first game of the 2024 season will be played at the lakeside facility against Miami (Ohio) on Aug. 31. Kickoff times for all games, as determined by broadcast partners, will be announced about seven to 12 days in advance.

The rebuild of the 98-year-old Ryan Field has ruffled feathers in Evanston and Wilmette as residents oppose the commercial use of a stadium situated in a residential neighborhood on the border of the two communities. A narrow vote by Evanston City Council, with a tie broken by Mayor Daniel Biss, will allow up to six maximum capacity concerts at the stadium per year along with other smaller events.

A lawsuit opposing the stadium filed by several residents and the Most Livable City Association is set to go before Cook County Circuit Judge Pamela McLean Meyerson on June 26. The university was recently hit with three new lawsuits by former football players in the ongoing hazing scandal which led to the firing of head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Last month, a judge determined all the hazing cases would be litigated together along with Fitzgerald’s lawsuit that his firing went against the contract he held with the university.

The Wildcats will be led by head coach David Braun in his second season.