Evanston residents are asking Northwestern University to pause its $800 million project to renovate Ryan Field in the wake of hazing allegations within its athletic programs.
“Northwestern's leadership has no credibility, and its priorities are badly distorted,” said David DeCarlo, an Evanston resident and co-founder of the nonprofit Most Livable City Association.
A crowd of 40,681 people watches the game between Michigan and Northwestern on November 15, 2003, at Ryan Field. (Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)
How did we get here?
The university unveiled the renovation plans last September to replace the current field with a reduced-capacity stadium that could host concerts and other non-football events. But the project has faced backlash from residents who have questioned NU’s lack of transparency, whether the tax-exempt university would fairly contribute to the Evanston community, and how rowdy fans and concertgoers could impact noise levels, parking, and traffic.
Evanston’s Land Use Commission will be holding a public hearing on Aug. 9 while it continues to review the stadium proposal. If approved, the proposal will go to the City Council for a vote, which is expected to take place in September.