NU Home Sites:
Soldier Field
Page Created
10/15/21

 




Northwestern Off-Campus Home Game Venues #2:


Venue Name: Soldier Field (previously: Grant Park Stadium, Grant Park Bowl)
NU Record (As Home Team): 2-4-1
NU Record (Other Games at Soldier):
1-1 as the road team. 0-1 with Soldier Field as a neutral site.
List of Home Games at Venue:
  • Nov. 22, 1924: Loss to Notre Dame 13-6 (45,000 in attendance.  This was the first major college football game played Soldier Field.)
  • Nov. 7, 1925: Win over Michigan 3-2 (over 70,000 tickets sold, but due to a monsoon, attendance was closer to 40,000)
  • Oct. 7, 1933: Loss to Iowa 7-0 (played in conjunction with the Chicago World's Fair)
  • Oct. 14, 1933: Tie with Stanford 0-0 (played in conjunction with the Chicago World's Fair)
  • Sept. 5, 1992: Loss to Notre Dame 42-7 (attendance: 64,877)
  • Sept. 3, 1994: Loss to Notre Dame 42-15 (attendance: 66,946-- sold out)
  • Aug. 23, 1997: Win over Oklahoma 24-0 (Pigskin Classic: Northwestern hosted)

With Ryan Field facing demolition, it is possible that Wrigley Field and Soldier Field will become NU's homes away from home for the next few seasons. Stay tuned for more details about possible upcoming games at Soldier Field.

NU hosted Notre Dame in one of the first football games played at Soldier Field; in fact, the stadium was still under construction when the newly-christened Wildcats fell in a valiant game to Coach Rockne's Four Horsemen of '24. NU would host another epic game the following year, scoring the only points any team would score against Michigan in 1925, en route to a huge win for NU. The two 1933 games NU played at the venue were part of Chicago's 1933-'34 World's Fair.

After a break of over a decade, NU resumed play with Notre Dame in 1992, but Notre Dame insisted that NU move its two home games in the new series away from Evanston, to Soldier Field. NU complied.


NU and Notre Dame square off at Soldier Field to start the 1992 season.
It was Gary Barnett's NU debut.

In addition to the games listed above, Northwestern has played other games at Soldier Field, but not as the home team.  On October 10, 1931 Notre Dame moved its home game with NU from Notre Dame Stadium to Soldier Field.  The move was tied to Depression relief efforts.  NU and the Irish fought to a 0-0 tie.  Also in 1931, and also to help Great Depression-related charities, NU and Purdue played a special post-season game at Soldier Field.  On November 28 NU lost to the Boilermakers 7-0.  The field was considered neutral.

The field, however, was not considered neutral when NU hosted Oklahoma in the Pigskin Classic in 1997.  NU officially counts the win over Oklahoma in its record book as part of the team's record home game winning streak (from 1995 - 1997).  The reason that NU wore white jerseys stems from the game the team played immediately before the Pigskin Classic: NU wore black in the '97 Citrus Bowl, a game during which many NU players had the flu.  The day was very hot and sunny, and the black jerseys did not help the team's problem with dehydration and overheating.  Later that summer, just before the Pigskin Classic, Coach Barnett, as the home coach, had the choice of which jersey to wear.  Knowing that the weather in August might also be hot and sunny, Barnett chose white jerseys for the team to help cut down the heat.


Coach Gary Barnett addresses the media after the 'Cats played their last home game
at Soldier Field, beating Oklahoma.  NU Sports Photo.

The University of Illinois chose to use Soldier Field as its home field in its games vs. NU from 2015 through 2019, marking the first time since 1931 that NU has played at Soldier Field as the "road team." The Wildcats played as visitors at Soldier Field vs. Illinois in November 2015 and won, 24-14. Illinois, stung by the loss and low attendance, scrapped the rest of its home series with NU at Soldier Field.