The Cubs have a five-year plan to renovate historic Wrigley Field, and now Northwestern University has a plan to play five more college football games there and a longterm agreement to showcase the school's other sports teams there.
Officials from Northwestern Athletics and the Cubs announced Tuesday they have joined forces for a marketing partnership that will include showcasing Wildcat teams at Wrigley Field in coming years, including baseball, lacrosse and football.
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Up first for the Wildcats will be a Big Ten baseball game on April 20 between Northwestern and Michigan. The following spring in 2014, Northwestern's heralded women's lacrosse team will host a contest at Wrigley against Notre Dame. The Wildcats have won seven NCAA lacrosse championships under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller.
No dates have been set for any football games, pending the ballpark's proposed $300 million renovation plan, but the first could come as early as 2014 once the Big Ten revises schedules.
"We are thrilled to partner with a professional sports franchise as iconic as the Chicago Cubs in an agreement that truly is the first of its kind," said Jim Phillips, Northwestern University vice president For Athletics & Recreation. "This is a natural fit that will create tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans in the area."
In addition to the games, the partnership allows Northwestern to have a marketing presence in Wrigley Field, and the Cubs to have the same at Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston. Northwestern will have opportunities for concourse presence and fan giveaways at Wrigley Field, as well as professional development experiences for student-athletes in the Cubs front office.
"The Cubs are excited to establish an ongoing partnership with Northwestern," Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said in a statement. "We enjoyed working with the university in 2010 to host the first college football game at Wrigley Field since 1938 and look forward to entertaining a variety of collegiate sporting events in the future."