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Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby Water Pony » Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:15 pm

Northwestern will totally replace Ryan Stadium with Ryan Field, which will reduce capacity from 47k to 35K. It will reimagine the football experience with a canopy over the seats and permit the hosting of entertainment events. The projected cost is $800m. For Northwestern, this is smart move, since they never sell out, even during their Rose Bowl seasons.

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/ ... m/2953307/
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby ponyboy » Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:35 pm

That is really cool!
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby Smumba2009 » Wed Sep 28, 2022 9:46 pm

Reminds me of euro soccer stadiums... thanks for sharing
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby SoCal_Pony » Thu Sep 29, 2022 1:57 am

Wow, a lot to digest here. To start with, congrats to NW on what looks like a really nice stadium.

1) I was at Ford during its opening season, said at the time it was a crappy stadium. I’ve never changed my opinion on that. I didn’t like the concourse area, relatively speaking there are too many ‘bad seats’ and not enough ‘luxury’ suites, plus the overall vibe reeks cheap/small-time. Contrast that to the renderings of New Ryan Field and it appears Ryan is much larger than Ford.

2) if NW, which is now part of the all-mighty P2, which will have more regional & older rivalries & larger state school opponents than SMU, if NW has seating capacity of 35,000….why should SMU be any larger?????? I hope they consider moving the Weber expansion to the north side & retaining the horseshoe.

3) NW has 8k undergraduate + 14k graduate students or 22k in total, SMU has 7k undergraduate + 5.5k graduate or 12.5k in total. That’s ~45% less students, further supporting the idea that SMU doesn’t need to over-expand its seating capacity.

4) I wonder if NW will change venues when hosting Michigan, Ohio St., MSU, Wisconsin or Penn St by playing at Soldier Field. I hope not.

5) Canopy is way cool. Is there any way SMU could incorporate that at Ford?
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby DanFreibergerForHeisman » Thu Sep 29, 2022 9:08 am

We should take the $100 million and put it towards something like this.

I hope at the very least we are smart enough to make the end zone addition structurally independent so we don't lose it when we eventually have to rebuild Ford.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby PlanoStang » Thu Sep 29, 2022 9:49 am

Reminds me of McLane Stadium at Baylor where I’ve seen a couple of Longview playoff games. It’s nice. NW’s new stadium may have even more over hang than McLane.

Don’t think it’s feasible to implode the north side of Ford to move the expansion. An over hang may be nice, but he who has the money gets to build what he wants.

I have no idea why the hill has become so popular with the students. Had to sit on Longview’s hill during a game with Allen a few years back. It was really uncomfortable, but Longview did win.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby Mustangs_Maroons » Thu Sep 29, 2022 11:37 pm

That’s a lot of money to spend on a pretty poor football team and program.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby Water Pony » Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:48 am

Mustangs_Maroons wrote:That’s a lot of money to spend on a pretty poor football team and program.


I guess we should spend nothing and ensure our path to FCS.

Despite the "sky is falling" among some, we have made great strides in the last decade. Our program is competitive, attracts better recruits, and is considered by many as a logical candidate for a more competitive conference. Cynical views are disappointing, but based on our more than 30 year journey through the wilderness of our own making, the Death Penalty, we are in a much, much better place now.

In the nineties and 2000's were truly disappointing and justifiably so. However, we have made real, tangible progress with winning teams and attracted media attention, despite not winning a conference championship or getting an invite to a P5 conference. UH, Cincinnati, and UCF earned their promotions, while we are right behind them.

Failing to acknowledge our progress ignores our improvement and, most importantly, a promising future.

BTW, put a canopy around Ford when we expand and modernize the stadium thanks to $100m in donations. Ford does needs work, but we forget that the on-campus stadium was a break through when it happened. Status quo is not an option but we have the potential to make it more desirable. I like the Northwestern model, which we could emulate more cost effectively.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby Mustangs_Maroons » Fri Sep 30, 2022 1:38 pm

Water Pony wrote:
Mustangs_Maroons wrote:That’s a lot of money to spend on a pretty poor football team and program.


I guess we should spend nothing and ensure our path to FCS.

Despite the "sky is falling" among some, we have made great strides in the last decade. Our program is competitive, attracts better recruits, and is considered by many as a logical candidate for a more competitive conference. Cynical views are disappointing, but based on our more than 30 year journey through the wilderness of our own making, the Death Penalty, we are in a much, much better place now.

In the nineties and 2000's were truly disappointing and justifiably so. However, we have made real, tangible progress with winning teams and attracted media attention, despite not winning a conference championship or getting an invite to a P5 conference. UH, Cincinnati, and UCF earned their promotions, while we are right behind them.

Failing to acknowledge our progress ignores our improvement and, most importantly, a promising future.

BTW, put a canopy around Ford when we expand and modernize the stadium thanks to $100m in donations. Ford does needs work, but we forget that the on-campus stadium was a break through when it happened. Status quo is not an option but we have the potential to make it more desirable. I like the Northwestern model, which we could emulate more cost effectively.


My comment was that $800mm is a lot of money to spend on the NW football program. They do benefit from the B10 money, of course, but $800mm seems exorbitant for a program that had one record year almost 30 years ago and is a sub 500 program.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby Water Pony » Fri Sep 30, 2022 2:18 pm

Thanks, Maroon,

I stand corrected. I thought you were referring to SMU.

As for Northwestern, $800m for a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium with all the amenities is a smart more for them. As a private university with a small B1G enrollment and alumni base, the Northwestern football program always pales in comparison to the large state universities in the conference. Gameday in Evanston in an 100 year old, 47k seat stadium with lots of empty seats is not attractive or exciting place to spend a fall afternoon.

However, the Ryans (similar to U. of Oregon's Phil Knight), have donated almost $2bn to Northwestern, including renovating the BB arena and funding the most expensive and gorgeous indoor Performance Center right on Lake Michigan you can possibility imagine.

I agree uou can't justify this $800m investment, but it will certainly distinguish Northwestern with an intimate, close to the field experience for 35k, plus a first class outdoor entertainment venue.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby SMU Pom Mom » Tue Oct 04, 2022 1:37 am

Mustangs_Maroons wrote:That’s a lot of money to spend on a pretty poor football team and program.

I wouldn't characterize the program as poor. Sure, we're bad this year, and we were bad last year, but in the last 10 years we have finished the season ranked 5 times, gone 5-1 in bowl games, and have two Big Ten West titles. Plus we have a terrific 2023 recruiting class. Most small schools would kill for those stats.

Anyway, I'm super excited about the new stadium because the old one was the worst. The WORST.

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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby SoCal_Pony » Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:35 am

Pom Mom,

Good for you, that’s going to be an amazing stadium and environment.

Just curious, when Michigan or Ohio St rolls into town, will the games be played there???

It would ruin the experience to move them to Soldier Field.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby DFW HOYA » Thu Oct 06, 2022 9:26 am

SoCal_Pony wrote:Just curious, when Michigan or Ohio St rolls into town, will the games be played there??? It would ruin the experience to move them to Soldier Field.


Northwestern could also play these games at Arlington Park where the Bears are headed.
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Re: Northwestern New Football Experience

Postby Mustangs_Maroons » Thu Oct 06, 2022 3:28 pm

SMU Pom Mom wrote:
Mustangs_Maroons wrote:That’s a lot of money to spend on a pretty poor football team and program.

I wouldn't characterize the program as poor. Sure, we're bad this year, and we were bad last year, but in the last 10 years we have finished the season ranked 5 times, gone 5-1 in bowl games, and have two Big Ten West titles. Plus we have a terrific 2023 recruiting class. Most small schools would kill for those stats.

Anyway, I'm super excited about the new stadium because the old one was the worst. The WORST.

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That's fair. My adjective on poor was more based on the following reasons:
- overall historical record (549-683-40), not even a .500 program
- their best ranking was in a shortened season and they were 7-2
- best year ever and they have 3 losses (excluding the shortened year)
- if they played in the big ten east (with OSU) I don't believe they ever would have made a conference championship game; they benefit from being in the lower division of the conference and still have multiple sub 500 years

That's why i think $800mm is a lot of money, but hey, it's not my money.
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