Northwestern, Wisconsin to play at Wrigley Field in 2020, report says

By Bob Hille 31 May 2018 127
Northwestern, Wisconsin to play at Wrigley Field in 2020, report says

It's shaping up to be quite a 2020 schedule for Wisconsin football.

The Badgers, already booked to play Notre Dame at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Oct. 3 that year, also will play Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago a month later, on Nov. 7, the Chicago Tribune reported and ESPN.com confirmed.

"College GameDay" anyone?

The Cubs and Northwestern officials are expected to make the official announcement Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

Best of all for Northwestern, it gets a home game at a very cool site with the accompanying national publicity, and, the Tribune notes, it gets to jab in-state rival Illinois, too:

"With Wrigley Field unavailable until November — it doubles as a ballpark, as you might have heard — only two 2020 dates were possible: Nov. 7 against Wisconsin and Nov. 28 versus Illinois. (Northwestern is off Nov. 14 and plays at Minnesota on Nov. 21.) … Northwestern does not want its in-state rival to get a marketing boost from a game at Wrigley Field."

The last time Northwestern played at Wrigley, the Illini crushed the Wildcats, 48-27, in a 2010 game marketed as "the Wrigleyville Classic” with 41,058 in attendance (at a premium ticket price).

It marked the first game at the baseball venue since 1970 and probably was more memorable because of how the field at the friendly confines was configured. Both offenses played toward the west end zone because of safety concerns about a tight squeeze near the right-field wall.

Not so in 2020.

Wrigley Field's recent renovations — playing on a wide-ranging partnership with Northwestern announced in 2013 — purposely included removable seats down the third-base line to accommodate a football field NCAA officials would approve.

The result: An extra point kicked toward the east end zone could land on Sheffield Avenue.

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