Northwestern game (Nov. 26th)

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#1      
Anyone have thoughts on where in the stadium to buy seats for our game at Northwestern?
 
#4      
Pumped I get to go to the Purdue game in Champaign, but I am really bummed out I can't go to this one, living in Chicago. I will still be out of town that Saturday. Really hoping for a similar "takeover" as we have when we play them in hoops in Evanston!
 
#5      
The east sideline should feel like Memorial Stadium North.
I know I am going to be embarrassed when I find out the answer to this question, but how do I know which sideline is the “east“ sideline when I am looking at ticket availability/seating chart?
 
#7      
I know I am going to be embarrassed when I find out the answer to this question, but how do I know which sideline is the “east“ sideline when I am looking at ticket availability/seating chart?
Lol, I won't lie I had to search Ryan Field on Google Maps, but it looks like it is the side ACROSS from the pressbox (where the visiting team's fans always are) - roughly Sections 101-115.
 
#8      
There are tons of tickets available. I just bought the cheapest ones and will sit wherever.

I really wish for the atmosphere to be like 1983 when it was a sellout with all Illinois fans.

Then after the Illini victory, the Illinois fans stormed the field, took down the goal posts and proceeded to carry them to Lake Michigan.
 
#9      
I mentioned this in the MSU pregame thread, but it probably belongs here (if anywhere...). Assuming Northwestern is our long term, Thanksgiving Weekend rival, what would you do with this game? It has generally garnered bad attendance in Champaign, always below our season average (ignoring the 2011 season, when we drew 53k because it was on October 1st and we were ranked #22...).

2021: 27,624 (season average of 35,347)
2019: 35,895 (season average of 36,587)
2017: 30,456 (season average of 42,647)
2013: 37,058 (season average of 43,787)

I know a lot of people do not support moving home games from campus, and I have actually come around to agree with this, for the record! However, I think in this specific case only, I might support trying to make this into somewhat of a Chicagoland tradition for a few reasons. I am TOTALLY open to the argument that if we just keep winning games, the NU game will be a guaranteed sellout someday just like the rest of them, but I'm skeptical.

I know some people will want to kill me, but I think the best route is perhaps an annual "novelty" game at Wrigley Field ... and here's why:

- According to the U of I enrollment statistics, over 75% of our current student body is from Chicagoland. That is just a lot of people to expect to drive back on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and I actually think they'd be more receptive to developing a new tradition of watching a (GOOD) Illini football program every Thanksgiving Saturday a train ride away.
- Even when we have been pretty good (2001 example, playing for the Big Ten Championship), it seems attendance in Champaign is just always bad that weekend.
- Wrigley is a much smaller venue than Memorial Stadium, Soldier Field or even Ryan Field in Evanston ... it is significantly easier to sell out.
- On that note ... we wouldn't have to sell all of the tickets ourselves. Even if we expect NU doesn't hold up their end most years and the crowd needs to be 75% Illini fans, you are still only needing about 30k of our fans to decide to attend.
- It would be a fun and more importantly unique gameday atmosphere within college football every year, with bars in Wrigleyville full of Illini and NU fans.

It's not conventional, obviously, and it's kind of throwing paint at a wall, but ... I don't know, I kind of hate that the last weekend of college football, which is supposed to be this epic rivalry weekend for everyone else, always seems anticlimactic for Illinois. I would support being creative to try to get folks to want to attend that game for reasons BEYOND FOOTBALL.

I also want to be very clear that I would only support this if it were a Georgia/Florida, Texas/Oklahoma, Illini/Mizzou, etc. arrangement, where both teams alternate giving up a home game each year. The Mike Thomas deal was incredibly stupid. Okay, hurl the insults! :ROFLMAO:
 
#10      
I mentioned this in the MSU pregame thread, but it probably belongs here (if anywhere...). Assuming Northwestern is our long term, Thanksgiving Weekend rival, what would you do with this game? It has generally garnered bad attendance in Champaign, always below our season average (ignoring the 2011 season, when we drew 53k because it was on October 1st and we were ranked #22...).

2021: 27,624 (season average of 35,347)
2019: 35,895 (season average of 36,587)
2017: 30,456 (season average of 42,647)
2013: 37,058 (season average of 43,787)

I know a lot of people do not support moving home games from campus, and I have actually come around to agree with this, for the record! However, I think in this specific case only, I might support trying to make this into somewhat of a Chicagoland tradition for a few reasons. I am TOTALLY open to the argument that if we just keep winning games, the NU game will be a guaranteed sellout someday just like the rest of them, but I'm skeptical.

I know some people will want to kill me, but I think the best route is perhaps an annual "novelty" game at Wrigley Field ... and here's why:

- According to the U of I enrollment statistics, over 75% of our current student body is from Chicagoland. That is just a lot of people to expect to drive back on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and I actually think they'd be more receptive to developing a new tradition of watching a (GOOD) Illini football program every Thanksgiving Saturday a train ride away.
- Even when we have been pretty good (2001 example, playing for the Big Ten Championship), it seems attendance in Champaign is just always bad that weekend.
- Wrigley is a much smaller venue than Memorial Stadium, Soldier Field or even Ryan Field in Evanston ... it is significantly easier to sell out.
- On that note ... we wouldn't have to sell all of the tickets ourselves. Even if we expect NU doesn't hold up their end most years and the crowd needs to be 75% Illini fans, you are still only needing about 30k of our fans to decide to attend.
- It would be a fun and more importantly unique gameday atmosphere within college football every year, with bars in Wrigleyville full of Illini and NU fans.

It's not conventional, obviously, and it's kind of throwing paint at a wall, but ... I don't know, I kind of hate that the last weekend of college football, which is supposed to be this epic rivalry weekend for everyone else, always seems anticlimactic for Illinois. I would support being creative to try to get folks to want to attend that game for reasons BEYOND FOOTBALL.

I also want to be very clear that I would only support this if it were a Georgia/Florida, Texas/Oklahoma, Illini/Mizzou, etc. arrangement, where both teams alternate giving up a home game each year. The Mike Thomas deal was incredibly stupid. Okay, hurl the insults! :ROFLMAO:
I was at that 2019 game. There was nowhere near 36k in the stadium--horrible weather that day. Tough draw for that game, even with a bowl-eligible team!
 
#11      
I would be in favor of this too. I think you could even thing BIG eventually and plan to have it at the new Arlington Heights stadium once that opens (likely closing off the upper deck...). Its an unfortunate reality that we will likely never get a massive attendance to come down for the game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but its just that, reality.

Plus I think this will provide a good reason to volunteer to be the other B1G on Black Friday. An annual neutral site rivalry game with almost no competition for eyes might be a great way to get additional exposure the way our Week 0 games have gotten us.

Now idk what Northwestern's motivations may be, but yeah they would have to go along with it too.
 
#12      

Ransom Stoddard

Ordained Dudeist Priest
Bloomington, IL
I mentioned this in the MSU pregame thread, but it probably belongs here (if anywhere...). Assuming Northwestern is our long term, Thanksgiving Weekend rival, what would you do with this game? It has generally garnered bad attendance in Champaign, always below our season average (ignoring the 2011 season, when we drew 53k because it was on October 1st and we were ranked #22...).

2021: 27,624 (season average of 35,347)
2019: 35,895 (season average of 36,587)
2017: 30,456 (season average of 42,647)
2013: 37,058 (season average of 43,787)

I know a lot of people do not support moving home games from campus, and I have actually come around to agree with this, for the record! However, I think in this specific case only, I might support trying to make this into somewhat of a Chicagoland tradition for a few reasons. I am TOTALLY open to the argument that if we just keep winning games, the NU game will be a guaranteed sellout someday just like the rest of them, but I'm skeptical.

I know some people will want to kill me, but I think the best route is perhaps an annual "novelty" game at Wrigley Field ... and here's why:

- According to the U of I enrollment statistics, over 75% of our current student body is from Chicagoland. That is just a lot of people to expect to drive back on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and I actually think they'd be more receptive to developing a new tradition of watching a (GOOD) Illini football program every Thanksgiving Saturday a train ride away.
- Even when we have been pretty good (2001 example, playing for the Big Ten Championship), it seems attendance in Champaign is just always bad that weekend.
- Wrigley is a much smaller venue than Memorial Stadium, Soldier Field or even Ryan Field in Evanston ... it is significantly easier to sell out.
- On that note ... we wouldn't have to sell all of the tickets ourselves. Even if we expect NU doesn't hold up their end most years and the crowd needs to be 75% Illini fans, you are still only needing about 30k of our fans to decide to attend.
- It would be a fun and more importantly unique gameday atmosphere within college football every year, with bars in Wrigleyville full of Illini and NU fans.

It's not conventional, obviously, and it's kind of throwing paint at a wall, but ... I don't know, I kind of hate that the last weekend of college football, which is supposed to be this epic rivalry weekend for everyone else, always seems anticlimactic for Illinois. I would support being creative to try to get folks to want to attend that game for reasons BEYOND FOOTBALL.

I also want to be very clear that I would only support this if it were a Georgia/Florida, Texas/Oklahoma, Illini/Mizzou, etc. arrangement, where both teams alternate giving up a home game each year. The Mike Thomas deal was incredibly stupid. Okay, hurl the insults! :ROFLMAO:
Weren't there issues with Wrigley one of the last times a FB game was played there that required both teams to play offense the same direction?

Alternate proposal: Soldier Field game every year, alternating between the UIUC/NU rivalry game and one or two rotating netural/neutral series (e.g. Mizzou at Soldier Field one year, Illini at The America's Center the other). It isn't in use on Saturday, and even when the Bears move I suspect it will stay around. Get some use out of the old gal and play some football in a football stadium.
 
#13      

Mr. Tibbs

southeast DuPage
Pumped I get to go to the Purdue game in Champaign, but I am really bummed out I can't go to this one, living in Chicago. I will still be out of town that Saturday. Really hoping for a similar "takeover" as we have when we play them in hoops in Evanston!
this year, it will be at least 70% Illinois people there, as they suck, so many bandwagon fans arent going , and we are doing pretty well.
 
#14      

Mr. Tibbs

southeast DuPage
There are tons of tickets available. I just bought the cheapest ones and will sit wherever.

I really wish for the atmosphere to be like 1983 when it was a sellout with all Illinois fans.

Then after the Illini victory, the Illinois fans stormed the field, took down the goal posts and proceeded to carry them to Lake Michigan.
I was there that day . a late game, it ended at 5 or 6
 
#15      
Wrigley is smaller than the current Ryan Field yes. It won't be smaller than the new Ryan Field. And yes on the directional problems, that was a major annoyance the last time.

Yes please on the Arlington stadium, whenever that is done. I like Soldier Field but hate getting there, for as far as I would need to drive, I'd as soon go to Champaign. Which I have, a few times over the years, for this game.

Fighter's idea would also leave Memorial open for the IHSA games that weekend, unless they are now committed to DeKalb.
 
#16      
Weren't there issues with Wrigley one of the last times a FB game was played there that required both teams to play offense the same direction?

Alternate proposal: Soldier Field game every year, alternating between the UIUC/NU rivalry game and one or two rotating netural/neutral series (e.g. Mizzou at Soldier Field one year, Illini at The America's Center the other). It isn't in use on Saturday, and even when the Bears move I suspect it will stay around. Get some use out of the old gal and play some football in a football stadium.
I've been to two of Illinois' games at Soldier Field (Washington, USF), and neither game was well attended. The difference as to why we are talking about the Northwestern game is because that game has had particularly terrible attendance with embarrassing crowd shots as the student body isn't on campus and the weather is terrible. The idea is that well if no one is in Champaign to go to that game, maybe we can get them to go when they are at home in the suburbs for the holiday. We don't want to have an early season September game off campus because that is the absolute best time to be on campus. I think that is definitely why this time the series with Mizzou is scheduled to be played on campuses rather than St. Louis.
 
#17      
^ Yeah, I like the concept of playing in Chicago, given what it means to our long term success and "ceiling" as a program, but this is the only way I would favor it (for now). Those September and early October games belong on campus.

However, with the Northwestern game, we have good evidence that the atmosphere will likely always be subpar in Champaign and Evanston ... might as well try something fun that benefits both teams and see if it can develop into a tradition that is unique to our program. I am open to the Arlington Heights idea (a game inside might draw more fans), I just liked the Wrigley idea because it is unique, and the stadium is easy to fill. Illinois would need to sell about 50,000 tickets to make it look respectable in either Champaign or at Soldier Field (it's pretty far south...), but a game at Wrigley or less so Arlington Heights can at least count on a token 7-10k Northwestern fans to help us out. In years where both teams are competitive, it would not be a tough sell at all for both sides to sell 20k tickets...
 
#18      
I think you could even thing BIG eventually and plan to have it at the new Arlington Heights stadium once that opens (likely closing off the upper deck...)
Indoors in Arlington Heights on Black Friday is a no-brainer. It's still a number of years away but I have no doubt both athletic departments realize what a solution to the problem of The World's Smallest Outdoor Cocktail Party that venue is.

(I'm lukewarm on doing the Northwestern game at Wrigley, and strenuously reject all other non-MS ideas.)
 
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#21      
I mentioned this in the MSU pregame thread, but it probably belongs here (if anywhere...). Assuming Northwestern is our long term, Thanksgiving Weekend rival, what would you do with this game? It has generally garnered bad attendance in Champaign, always below our season average (ignoring the 2011 season, when we drew 53k because it was on October 1st and we were ranked #22...).

2021: 27,624 (season average of 35,347)
2019: 35,895 (season average of 36,587)
2017: 30,456 (season average of 42,647)
2013: 37,058 (season average of 43,787)

I know a lot of people do not support moving home games from campus, and I have actually come around to agree with this, for the record! However, I think in this specific case only, I might support trying to make this into somewhat of a Chicagoland tradition for a few reasons. I am TOTALLY open to the argument that if we just keep winning games, the NU game will be a guaranteed sellout someday just like the rest of them, but I'm skeptical.

I know some people will want to kill me, but I think the best route is perhaps an annual "novelty" game at Wrigley Field ... and here's why:

- According to the U of I enrollment statistics, over 75% of our current student body is from Chicagoland. That is just a lot of people to expect to drive back on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and I actually think they'd be more receptive to developing a new tradition of watching a (GOOD) Illini football program every Thanksgiving Saturday a train ride away.
- Even when we have been pretty good (2001 example, playing for the Big Ten Championship), it seems attendance in Champaign is just always bad that weekend.
- Wrigley is a much smaller venue than Memorial Stadium, Soldier Field or even Ryan Field in Evanston ... it is significantly easier to sell out.
- On that note ... we wouldn't have to sell all of the tickets ourselves. Even if we expect NU doesn't hold up their end most years and the crowd needs to be 75% Illini fans, you are still only needing about 30k of our fans to decide to attend.
- It would be a fun and more importantly unique gameday atmosphere within college football every year, with bars in Wrigleyville full of Illini and NU fans.

It's not conventional, obviously, and it's kind of throwing paint at a wall, but ... I don't know, I kind of hate that the last weekend of college football, which is supposed to be this epic rivalry weekend for everyone else, always seems anticlimactic for Illinois. I would support being creative to try to get folks to want to attend that game for reasons BEYOND FOOTBALL.

I also want to be very clear that I would only support this if it were a Georgia/Florida, Texas/Oklahoma, Illini/Mizzou, etc. arrangement, where both teams alternate giving up a home game each year. The Mike Thomas deal was incredibly stupid. Okay, hurl the insults! :ROFLMAO:
Man I was at the NU game last year and and even 27k seems generous lol. It was cold, wet and empty. But those of us who did show up got to see a nice beatdown lol.
 
#22      
Indoors in Arlington Heights on Black Friday is a no-brainer. It's still a number of years away but I have no doubt both athletic departments realize what a solution to the problem of The World's Smallest Outdoor Cocktail Party that venue is.

(I'm lukewarm on doing the Northwestern game at Wrigley, and strenuously reject all other non-MS ideas.)
My only trepidation for this is not selling out the stadium ever and/or closing off the upper deck … it looked so sad this year when Georgia sold out Atlanta this year and Georgia Tech/Clemson played there the next day with the upper deck closed like it was a women’s basketball game, lol.

Otherwise, I’m all for it, especially if that area gets a cool bar scene (the major draw to Wrigley besides smaller capacity).
 
#23      
I think you could even thing BIG eventually and plan to have it at the new Arlington Heights stadium once that opens (likely closing off the upper deck...).

Love this idea. Makes a ton of sense from Illinois' perspective. I just have a hard time thinking NW would go for the idea, especially once they have their new stadium.
 
#25      
Love this idea. Makes a ton of sense from Illinois' perspective. I just have a hard time thinking NW would go for the idea, especially once they have their new stadium.
That's true. But maybe if the teams agree to split ticket and concessions revenue every year maybe that's a better deal than what they will be making at their new shoebox once every other year.
 
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