Northwestern, Chicago Cubs ink historic agreement

Northwestern football will be back at Wrigley Field. On Tuesday, Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced a long-term partnership that includes five future football games in the Friendly Confines.

[ NUSports.com: Northwestern athletics, Chicago Cubs announce historic partnership ]

The agreement also allows opportunities for many of Northwestern’s 19 varsity programs to play at Wrigley Field. One date already has been set, in fact: April 20, when the Northwestern baseball team hosts Michigan.

The dates for the five football games are pending due to the scheduling of Wrigley Field’s recently announced restoration project. The Wildcats played rival Illinois at Wrigley Field in 2010, a historic event that may be best remembered for both teams using the same end zone as a result of the tight quarters in the right field end zone.

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

“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,” Northwestern Vice President For Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips said in a press release. “As Chicago’s Big Ten Team, this is a natural fit that will create tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans in the area.”

Also already scheduled for Wrigley Field is the national power Northwestern women’s lacrosse program hosting regional rival Notre Dame in the spring of 2014. Details on other dates and opponents will be provided at a later date.

This partnership also provides marketing opportunities for both parties. From NUSports.com:

“The agreement allows Northwestern to establish an ongoing marketing presence in one of the world’s most popular and recognizable sports landmarks, and the Cubs to leverage its brand and marks at Wildcats venues including Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena. 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.”

About Brent Yarina BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.

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