Northwestern revises plans for Ryan Field proposal after pushback

Northwestern University announced Thursday they will lower the number of concerts held at the new proposed Ryan Field stadium, while still contributing financially to the city.

In a statement, Northwestern president Michael Schill said they have taken into consideration neighbors’ concerns and will drop the number of concerts held in a year from 10 to six.

Schill also announced the university will no longer ask for unlimited 10,000-person events and will limit community activities to 60 per year.

"The new stadium has never been solely about Northwestern football; its role as an economic and social engine goes well beyond that," Schill said.

The announcement comes less than a week ahead of the Land Use Commission meeting. where the council will hear plans for the stadium and get input from residents.


The LUC, made up of volunteer community members, will hear plans for Ryan Field and concerns from residents on Aug. 23. They will then make recommendations to the Evanston City Council and Planning and Development Committee about the development of the stadium.

The Most Livable Association — an organization made up of residents — has opposed the stadium since it was announced last year, saying their concerns weren’t considered and warning the development would cause environmental and residential disruption.

"Northwestern clearly knows they’re losing the fight in public opinion. They’re grasping for some kind of support. What they propose are still the same radical zoning changes that focus on commercial use," said David DeCarlo, co-president of the Most Livable Association.

DeCarlo said his group will attend next week’s meeting and bring evidence that will prove the stadium doesn’t meet city standards.

The university is guaranteeing a minimum of $2 million in tax and fee revenue for the city that will come solely from events held at the stadium. Ryan Field will also give opportunities to residents with low-paying jobs to move into better-paying careers, Schill said.

"We know that as a key part of this community, we need to listen to our neighbors across the entire city of Evanston."

The rebuild will be privately funded with majority of the financing coming from the Ryan family.