Although it was reported over the weekend, yesterday the Chicago Cubs and Northwestern University formally announced their plan to have a whole bunch of Northwestern athletics played at Wrigley Field. It is part of a broader partnership between the two entities, as Northwestern continues its push to be “Chicago’s Big Ten Team.”
Among the sports to be played at Wrigley Field over the next five years (at minimum) are football, baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse. The first game is coming fast: Northwestern’s baseball team will take on Michigan on April 20.
As for football, which is likely to be the biggest revenue-generator, the two sides have agreed to five games at Wrigley Field, starting in 2014. There wasn’t quite enough certainty that Wrigley would be ready to accommodate a two-way football game by this Fall, and Northwestern also wanted more time to coordinate with its season ticket holders about the game. So, for planning purposes, you’ve got until November 2014 to clear your schedule for some football.
All in all, the partnership is a win-win for a Cubs organization looking to generate additional revenue with their stadium, and for a University looking to spread its name and notoriety in the sporting world. As part of the deal, its students will also have some inroads with the Cubs organization in terms of internships, and the Cubs will have inroads with the University in terms of using exercise and athletic facilities in the offseason.