Redevelopment of Ryan Field

A recent email from Northwestern Athletics was forwarded to CSNA last week by one of our members. It contained a link to a video regarding the redevelopment of Ryan Field as well as a link to a survey which appears to be available to those who subscribe to the Northwestern Athletics mail list. We thought it would be of interest to all neighbors in the Central Street area. A paraphrased version of the email is highlighted in blue text below:along with the linked YouTube video (click the image).

Date:  11/3/2021

From: Northwestern Athletics

Subject: New Ryan Field - We Need Your Feedback!

"Please watch this video from Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Dr. Gerrick Gragg regarding the new Ryan Field"


"Your feedback is much appreciated. Go 'Cats!"

Additional background can be found in a Northwestern Now article dated September 22, 2021  titled "The Patrick and Shirley Ryan Family makes new $480 million gift, ..." The article describes many new initiatives that will be enabled by the Ryan family gift.  The excerpted section titled 'Redevelopment of Ryan Field' may be of particular interest to our members.It's in blue text here below.

Redevelopment of Ryan Field

The transformative gift from the Ryans also provides the lead gift for the redevelopment of Ryan Field, creating an enhanced gameday experience for students, alumni, fans and the surrounding community. Additional philanthropic gifts will be raised to complete the project. 

An important goal of the redevelopment is to exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and make the stadium exceptionally accessible and welcoming to all attendees. The project also will focus on environmental sustainability opportunities.

The multi-year construction process will provide an economic boost for the City of Evanston through job creation and increased revenue. Northwestern is committed to transparency and collaboration with Evanston neighbors throughout the construction process. The University will conduct listening sessions with community members before releasing design concepts and more specific plans.

“We deeply appreciate the Ryan Family’s enduring dedication to our student-athletes,” said Dr. Derrick Gragg, Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation. “The impact of their visionary generosity on past, present and future Wildcats is truly incomparable. The rebuilt Ryan Field will be a world-class venue befitting this institution’s pursuit of excellence in all areas.”

Originally constructed in 1926 and expanded in 1949 and 1952, Ryan Field underwent an extensive renovation in 1997, supported by a leadership gift from the Ryan Family. Northwestern football has won two of the last three Big Ten West Division championships and four consecutive bowl games including the 2021 Citrus Bowl.

“Shirley and I believe in the power of sports to develop the whole person — mind, body and soul for all students. This holistic approach prepares Northwestern student-athletes to be the leaders of tomorrow,” Pat Ryan said. “And as long-time fans of all Wildcat teams, we have seen firsthand how powerful Northwestern Athletics can be in building community.”