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Frequently Asked Questions

Vision and Community Benefits

How can I share feedback or ask questions about the project?

  • For construction related questions, members of the public can use the City of Evanston’s 311 system.
  • The 311 system is the preferred source for the most up-to-date information. However, individuals may also call the Central Street Consortium directly at (847) 257-3282 for immediate assistance with urgent matters during non-business hours.

What is the vision for the new Ryan Field?

We have a once-in-a-century opportunity to build a new world-class stadium for all of Evanston that is completely privately funded and developed in collaboration with the community. The new Ryan Field will be an improvement in every way and deliver a sports experience befitting one of the world’s great universities. It will be the preeminent site to watch college football games as well as a gathering space for all ages. The new Ryan Field and plazas will: 
  • create a world-class home for Northwestern University Athletics and a best-in-the-nation football experience for fans, players and the community; 
  • be consistent with the global standing of Northwestern University and its premier footing in the Big Ten; 
  • be a community-oriented venue providing space for local non-profits and community organizations to use for fundraising and other activities; 
  • feature a modern design and state-of-the-art canopy that will help contain crowd noise and lights; and 
  • include new and improved greenspace modeled after iconic parks like Maggie Daley Park in Chicago. 

And, with Oregon, USC, UCLA and Washington joining the Big Ten, the new stadium will help showcase Northwestern University to an even broader and more global audience.

Will any public financing be used for the project?

No. Zero taxpayer dollars are needed to build and maintain the new Ryan Field and plazas.

What is the projected economic impact of this project on Evanston?

Tripp Umbach, a nationally recognized economist, estimates the cumulative economic impact to the City of Evanston over the life of the project will be over $659.9 million. The design, planning and construction will support more than 2,900 jobs and generate $12 million in direct fees to Evanston. You can learn more by downloading oureconomic impact report.

To what extent will the development use minority- and women-owned businesses in the construction process? What about minority- and women-owned businesses thereafter?

The University is committed to creating economic opportunities for minority-owned, woman-owned and local Evanston businesses and residents. The target for total subcontracted spending with local, minority-owned and woman-owned businesses is 35%, with priority given to businesses and individuals located in Evanston. 

If you are a potential vendor or employee applicant, please access our “Opportunities for Vendors” form or “Opportunities for Job Seekers” form.

How will the stadium footprint change with the rebuild?

  • Historically, stadiums exist for large capacity events, and Ryan Field was originally built for this purpose. Large capacity, event-only stadiums are now out-of-date. 
  • The new Ryan Field will be designed for a maximum capacity of 35,000 people. With 12,000 fewer seats, the new stadium will provide a more intimate setting than the current Ryan Field. 
  • It will include community plazas, more green space and significant landscape buffers between the stadium and surrounding neighborhoods. 
  • The stadium’s overall height will be lower than it is currently — about 30 feet shorter than the current height of the press box.

Will the project exceed ADA designs for accessibility?

Yes, the new Ryan Field and plazas will be built to exceed all ADA requirements for accessibility by all. The new stadium will apply Universal Design standards and will set a new standard for accessibility and inclusivity, making it among the most accessible stadiums in the country.

Will the new stadium and surrounding plazas be used for anything other than Northwestern sports?

  • The stadium also will host community-oriented events such as winter festivals, holiday celebrations, student movie nights, intramural sports championships as well as additional student community programming. 
  • The space will offer a low-cost, high-value venue for faculty events. 
  • The new stadium will be an ideal venue to host other top collegiate sporting events like the Women’s Lacrosse Final Four. 
  • The University received zoning approval to host six concerts per year. This includes concerts in the new Ryan Field stadium and in Welsh-Ryan arena. The proposed concert capacity in a new Ryan Field is 28,500 attendees, which is 20% less than the proposed stadium seating capacity for football games and a 40% reduction from the current 47,000 capacity of Ryan Field. Welsh-Ryan Arena has concert capacity of fewer than 10,000 attendees.

How can I support the project?

Request information about premium seating, executive suites, philanthropic giving, corporate partnerships, ticketing and more from NU Athletics. 

Where can I find more information about athletic events during and after construction?

All event and ticketing information will be posted on the NU Athletics website. 

Neighborhood and Environmental Impact

Will the project meet LEED requirements for environmental sustainability?

Yes, the new Ryan Field and plazas will be built to LEED Gold certification.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. Learn more about federal LEED certification requirements as well as the City of Evanston's Green Building Ordinance

How will the new stadium’s features mitigate noise and lighting for residents?

As a vast improvement over the current stadium, the new, modern design will feature a state-of-the-art canopy that will better contain crowd noise and curtail light pollution.

Will the University allow idling concert trucks?

No. According to Evanston’s city code, no standing or parked motor vehicles with gross vehicle weight rating of 8,000 pounds or more will be allowed to idle on any public street, public place or private property for more than a total of 5 minutes within an hour period except under specific circumstances. 

The new Ryan Field will include an underground loading dock for concert-equipment trucks.

What are the plans for tailgating at the new field?

The way Ryan Field is currently designed, fans must tailgate well beyond the footprint of the stadium. The plazas in the new Ryan Field will create an organized and well-defined space for pre-game activities.

How will traffic issues be mitigated around the new stadium?

  • While the current Ryan Field has a capacity of 47,000 people, the new design has a maximum capacity of 35,000. That means 12,000 fewer people coming to and leaving games. 
  • Plans call for a bike valet system, keeping more cars off the road. Northwestern University aspires to have the stadium be among the most bike-friendly college venues in the U.S. 
  • There is a plan in the works for strategic and streamlined ride sharing with designated drop-off points to prevent unnecessary traffic in and around the neighborhood. 
  • The University plans to engage with CTA and Metra to optimize public transit to/from the new Ryan Field campus. 
  • We have a plan to reduce congestion on game days.

What are you doing to address concerns raised by local Indigenous Tribes?

The University regularly meets with representatives of Indigenous Tribes to discuss potential archaeological discoveries and will involve them if any artifacts are discovered during demolition.

Demolition and Construction

Where can I find a detailed timeline for demolition and construction?

Demolition of Ryan Field began in mid-February and is expected to progress through May. Construction of foundation elements will then begin. Additional information will be posted to the construction updates section of this website as it becomes available.

How will construction affect parking in the neighborhood?

Trucks and work crews will not use on-street parking around the stadium; trucks will park on site, and work crews will park in off-site garages and use mass transportation to reach the stadium.

What traffic control measures will be put in place at gates and intersections?

Construction gates will remain closed at all times, except to allow construction vehicles to enter or exit the jobsite. When the gates are open to facilitate construction-related traffic, a certified flagger will be present at the gate to coordinate with vehicular and pedestrian traffic outside the perimeter fence, assisting the construction vehicles entering and exiting the site.

Will trucks be allowed to idle or queue for access to the site?

Idling and queuing of construction trucks while accessing the jobsite are prohibited.

What are the approved truck routes for the project?

  • Careful consideration was taken while determining the designated construction truck route for the project. Roadway capacity, bridge loading, limiting overhead clearances, residential areas, and nearby businesses were all assessed prior to the establishment of the route.
  • Stadium truck traffic will be limited to: Golf Road and Emerson Street between Crawford and Sherman Avenues; Sherman Avenue between Emerson and Central Streets; Central Street between Sherman and Ashland Avenues. View the route map approved as part of the Construction Management Plan.

How will you prioritize pedestrian safety around the stadium during demolition and construction?

Sidewalks and crosswalks will remain open during demolition, with workers stationed at truck entry and exit points to ensure pedestrian safety. 

How will you dispose of debris during demolition and construction? How will hazardous materials, such as lead, asbestos and other contaminants be handled and disposed?

  • Debris from demolition and construction activities will be transported to facilities licensed to accept the appropriate materials.
  • As required by state, county and city regulatory requirements, the abatement of hazardous materials, including lead and asbestos, must be completed by an Illinois Department of Public Health licensed subcontractor and disposed at a site designated to accept hazardous materials. Upon completion of the abatement scope of work, an environmental consultant must inspect and confirm all hazardous materials have been properly removed and disposed prior to beginning demolition of the structure.
  • Select items — including seating, signage, TVs, food service equipment, millwork and mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment — will be salvaged prior to demolition. In addition to salvage operations, prior to heavy demolition, the following recycling efforts will be completed by the demolition subcontractor: removal of light bulbs and light ballasts, refrigerant and coolant recovery, aluminum bleachers, electrical panels, transformers, gear and accessible copper. Clean concrete, steel and non-ferrous metals will be sorted within the demolition operation for recycling. Hazardous debris will be disposed of in locations compliant with regulations.

Will there be site lighting after hours, and how bright will it be at adjacent property lines?

In accordance with the Construction Management Plan, jobsite lighting will be kept to minimal levels during off hours to maintain a safe site, following OSHA lighting requirements. Lighting will be positioned to avoid directly shining on surrounding houses and buildings. 

How will noise and music be controlled outside of work hours?

All subcontractors, during the jobsite orientation as well as daily huddles, will be mindful of our neighbors and respectful when entering and exiting the jobsite.  

What measures are being taken for rodent and pest control?

Prior to demolition commencing, a professional pest control company certified the building is rodent free. During construction, the project team will use a professional pest control company monthly to ensure the jobsite remains rodent free.  

How will water runoff be controlled and/or filtered before entering the sewer system?

As required per state and city regulatory requirements, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) is in place to control and filter runoff water. The primary objective of these measures is to prevent debris and sediment from entering the sewage system.

How will dust and debris be controlled to keep nearby streets clean?

In addition to the required elements of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP), street sweepers will be employed as needed. 

How will you manage vibrations during the demolition process?

The University will monitor vibrations and provide monthly reports to the city; Northwestern is subject to fines and other enforcement measures if in violation of vibration limits. 

In accordance with the Construction Management Plan, a total of 6 vibration monitors will be installed throughout the University’s athletic campus. The monitors will be placed inside Anderson Hall and Welsh Ryan Arena, near the closest residences along the east property line and along the west, south and north property lines. 

What permits have been issued for demolition and construction?

View all applicable permits on the City of Evanston website.

Where can I find more information about the construction plan?

View the Central Street Consortium’s Construction Management Plan, approved by the City of Evanston, on the City of Evanston website.