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Northwestern Off-Campus Home Game Venues #3:

Image: Chicago South Side Park (III)

Wrigley and Soldier Fields aren't the only off-campus venues where NU has hosted games. Here are the other sites, listed in chronological order of the first time NU hosted a game there.

It is interesting to note that every one of these venues no longer exists.

West Side Park ( I )

NU played one home game at the ballpark of the Chicago Cubs (at the time known as the Chicago White Stockings).  This was two ballparks prior to Wrigley Field. The game, played in 1891, was a 20-0 loss to Lake Forest. NU and Lake Forest agreed to this extra game to break a tied record between the schools. Attendance unknown.

Venue Name(s): West Side Park ( I ), home of the Chicago White Stockings
NU Record (As Home Team): 0-1
NU Record (Other Games at Venue):
List of Home Games at Venue:
  • Nov. 21, 1891: Loss to Lake Forest, 20-0

Where was this venue? The first West Side Park was built in 1885 and was used until 1891. The Northwestern game was one of the final events held in this stadium. The location, 1340 West Harrison, became home to the Andrew Jackson Language Academy.

The site now.

South Side Park ( II )

Another park that briefly served as the home of the Chicago Cubs (sporadically during 1891 through 1893),  where NU first hosted the University of Michigan in 1892.  NU's win over the Wolverines was its biggest victory to date, and over 1,500 fans attended. Click here to learn more about this game.

Venue Name(s): South Side Park ( II ); South Side Ball Ground; Brotherhood Park; Erroneously called 25th Street Field in older NU histories and records
NU Record (As Home Team): 1-0
NU Record (Other Games at Venue):
List of Home Games at Venue:
  • Oct. 29, 1892: Win over Michigan, 10-8

Where was this venue? This second South Side Park was constructed in 1890, and it was short-lived, lasting only three years. This same location would eventually be the site for the original Comiskey Park. The site is now near the north parking lot for Guaranteed Rate Field.

Chicago Stock Pavilion

During the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Northwestern hosted the Denver Athletic Club at Chicago's World's Fair Livestock Pavilion.  It was a night game, one of the first night football games ever played in Chicago, and kicked off at 9:00 pm, October 4, 1893, the latest local kickoff time ever for an NU home game at any venue.

Venue Name(s): Chicago Live Stock Pavilion
NU Record (As Home Team): 0-1
NU Record (Other Games at Venue):
List of Home Games at Venue:
  • Oct. 4, 1893: Loss to Denver A.C. 8-0

Exterior of the World's Fair Live Stock Pavilion, where NU hosted Denver

Where was this venue? Constructed as part of the Chicago World's Fair "White City," the elliptical Live Stock Pavilion was a massive venue that could seat 10,000 spectators. This site is now smack-dab in the middle of the Jackson Park Inner Harbor in Chicago:

Marshall Field

The University of Chicago used Marshall Field (renamed Stagg Field in 1913) for its home games; NU played there as a visiting team on 24 occasions.  In addition, NU's official records used to list one Northwestern home game played at Marshall Field, on November 22, 1924, against Notre Dame.  This game, however, was played at Soldier Field.

However, NU did play two home games at Chicago's Marshall Field, against Minnesota.  At the beginning of the 20th Century Minnesota was a powerhouse, and Sheppard Field could not handle the large crowds.  NU hosted Minnesota at Marshall Field in 1901 and 1904.

Again in 1925, NU's home, Northwestern Field, could no longer handle the capacity crowds 
(Dyche Stadium would open the following year, with a much-increased capacity over Northwestern Field), and NU moved two of its home games to off-campus sites (including the famous win over Michigan at Soldier Field).  Originally also scheduled to be played at Soldier Field, NU's game with Tulane was instead held at Stagg Field. Tulane, which brought its band for the occasion, won.

Venue Name(s): Marshall Field / Stagg Field ( I )
NU Record (As Home Team): 0-3
NU Record (Other Games at Venue):
5-18-1 as the road team, against Chicago
List of Home Games at Venue:
  • Nov. 23, 1901: Loss to Minnesota 16-0
  • Nov. 19, 1904: Loss to Minnesota 17-0
  • Oct. 24, 1925: Loss to Tulane 18-7

Where was this venue? Built in 1893, the original Stagg Field was torn down in 1957. It is probably most famous as the site of the first nuclear chain reaction, which took place under the west stands, shown above. Chicago built its current Stagg Field several blocks away from the original site. The old site is near the university's library, and a sculpture stands at the location where the chain reaction occurred:

South Side Park ( III )

The 39th Street Grounds, later renamed as the third South Side Park, was actually a playing site in the 1800s for the Chicago Wanderers cricket and football teams. Northwestern played one early game here as the road team (a 24 - 0 win against the Wanderers football squad in 1889). Later, Charles Comiskey built grandstands on the site in 1900, when it was inagaurated as the new South Side Park.

Just as Northwestern was forced to use Marshall Field to handle crowds too large for its on-campus venue at the time, in 1903 it confronted another period when its stadium couldn't handle demand. Midway through the season, the team was on a tear, burning through non-conference opponents undefeated on its way to its first ten-win season. The final three home games were all against big-name opponents, and NU decided to shift those games to the home stadium for the Chicago White Sox.

Unfortunately, NU's winning streak came to an end with these three big-ticket games. Despite not winning any of the South Side Park games, NU eventually took a share of the 1903 Big Ten championship.

Venue Name(s): 39th Street Grounds; South Side Park ( III ); Sox Park; Schorling's Park
NU Record (As Home Team): 0-1-2
NU Record (Other Games at Venue):
1-0 as the road team
List of Home Games at Venue:
  • Nov. 14, 1903: Tie with Notre Dame 0-0
  • Nov. 21, 1903: Tie with Wisconsin 6-6
  • Nov. 26, 1903: Loss to Carlisle 28-0

NU hosts Notre Dame at South Side Park
[Chicago Hist. Soc. Photo]

Where was this venue? The White Sox used the venue until 1910, when they moved to the first Comiskey Park. However, South Side Park continued to be used by other groups, including the Negro League Chicago American Giants. The venue burned down on Christmas Day 1940.

South Side Park was a few blocks south of Comiskey. The site is now the CHA housing project Wentworth Gardens:

Cleveland Stadium

Strange as it seems, NU did host a "home" game vs. Ohio State at Cleveland Stadium on Oct. 19, 1991. For strictly financial reasons, NU moved its home game with OSU and drew 73,830 (mostly Buckeye) fans.  Aside from the location, everything else was just like a normal NU home game: NU wore its home purple unis, NUMB performed, and the programs for the game were NU programs.  The game, derisively called the "Art Modell Bowl," is technically Northwestern's home game attendance record holder (though it was not a sold out game).

Venue Name(s): Cleveland Stadium; Municipal Stadium; Lakefront Stadium
NU Record (As Home Team): 0-1
NU Record (Other Games at Venue):
List of Home Games at Venue:
  • Oct. 19, 1991: Loss to Ohio State 34-3

Where was this venue? Built in 1931, Cleveland Stadium was demolished in 1996. The current Cleveland Stadium, First Energy, sits on the exact spot of the old stadium.