Design for temporary Northwestern football stadium taking shape

Northwestern offered its most detailed glimpse yet of its planned temporary lakeside football stadium in a letter sent to season ticket holders Thursday.

The conceptual design of the stadium features grandstands in the north and south end zones with shorter structures along the east and west sidelines. The east sideline seats back up to the walking path that runs along Lake Michigan.

Season tickets range from $1,299 for the all-inclusive south premium level — plus a $1,750 donation to the athletic department — to $399 and no donation for the north end zone grandstands. Tickets elsewhere in the stadium range $599 plus a $1,000 donation to $459 plus a $100 donation.

The south structure will feature all-inclusive suites and club seating; 20 tables with four seats apiece on the field; and chairback seating. The north structure bleacher seats feature no such frills.

The structure along the west sideline features “ledge” seats with an overhang above it while the east structure will be closest to the field.

In April, the Wildcats announced they would play most of their home games at the temporary stadium for the next two seasons while Ryan Field, their home of nearly 100 years, was torn down and rebuilt. Construction this spring has leveled the stadium.

The Lanny and Sharon Martin Lakeside Facility, home to the women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer teams, will be expanded this summer with temporary stands build by InProduction, the same company that helped build the structure surrounding the NASCAR street race downtown. The women’s lacrosse team — which lost in the NCAA championship game Sunday — and soccer teams will both continue to play at the park the next two seasons.

The stadium will hold about 15,000 fans for football games. Northwestern is giving priority to 2023 season ticket-holders when distributing tickets, with a maximum of four seats per account. Presale for season ticket-holders runs from June 10 to July 16. Mini-plans and single game tickets will become available July 26.

Three of the team’s five on-campus home games will come before the middle of September. They’ll be against Miami (Ohio) at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 31, Duke at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, and Eastern Illinois at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14. The Big Ten announced kickoff times for the first three weeks Thursday and will determine the rest — including on-campus games against Indiana on Oct. 5 and Wisconsin on Oct. 19 — during the season.

The Wildcats will finish the season with “home” games at Wrigley Field against Ohio State and rival Illinois on Nov. 14 and 30, respectively. They are not part of the season ticket package and will instead be sold separately.

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