Ryan Field: Home of the Northwestern Wildcats
If someone were to ask you what the oldest Stadium in the storied Big Ten Conference is, would you guess Ryan Field at Northwestern University? If you did then you would be correct. Built in 1926, Ryan Field has been the home of eight Big Ten Champion football teams, including three since 1995.
It seems that all of the “Power Five” Conferences have that one school that is more known for academics than being an athletic machine. The SEC has Vanderbilt. The PAC 12 has Stanford. The Big 12 has Baylor. The ACC has Duke. Northwestern is that school in the Big Ten.
Like those other schools, they have traditionally taken their lumps on the athletics fields, especially the football field. But in 1995, the Wildcats did the unthinkable. They won the Big Ten and went to the prestigious Rose Bowl game. That seemed to kick off some kind of “Revenge of the Nerds” type of era as all those aforementioned schools took Northwestern’s cue and began to win football games. Stanford has become a PAC 12 powerhouse. Duke won its division in the ACC a year ago. Vanderbilt has been to several bowls in recent years. Baylor has been to two major bowls in a row. Do all of these schools owe a thank you to the fans of Ryan Field? Perhaps they do.
The fans at Ryan Field have a varied choice of sports they can go to on a weekend. Being in the Chicago area, they have the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks to spend their sports entertainment dollars. But they pack the stands at Ryan Field to watch their beloved “Cardiac Cats” on Saturdays in the fall. For their efforts they are rewarded with some outstanding Big Ten football games.
Ryan Field is a throwback to the early days of college football. Since being built in 1926, it has undergone few renovations. The 49,000 seats are all close to the action where you will get to watch some of the best teams in the country. You will enjoy the action while also enjoying some of the best concessions in the city. At the south end of Ryan Field they will be grilling up your bratwursts, polish sausages, Italian sausages, grilled chicken, rib and pulled pork sandwiches for you football eating pleasure. You can almost picture the “Chicago Super Fans” from Saturday Night Live wolfing down a brat while praising “Da Cats!”
Northwestern has been to 11 bowls in their history and 10 were from 1995 to 2012. So winning football at Ryan Field has become a tradition. When you get tickets for this year’s Wildcats you will see Stanford, Eastern Illinois, Ball State, Minnesota, Iowa, Penn State and Purdue. Not many schools have a better home schedule than Northwestern.
Northwestern players to go on to the NFL include Otto Graham, Mike Kafka, Zach Strief, Jeremy Ebert, Barry Cofield, Corbin Bryant, Sherrick McManus, and Nick Roach.
You will want to purchase your tickets quickly because with teams like Stanford and Penn State on the schedule they will sell out fast!
While at the game you will have the city of Chicago at your disposal for pregame and postgame tailgating. No other Big Ten program can offer this. So get your Northwestern Wildcats football tickets now! Come out to Ryan Field and enjoy some great college football!