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  1. Mr. Decarlo is 100% on target. T

    The cost of their proposed zoning change would be a huge financial gain for NU and huge loss of quality of life and quiet enjoyment of property for the 1000s of people and households surrounding Ryan Field in Evanston and Wilmette. A commercial use zoning change without paying commercial property taxes would be irresponsible on behalf of any council member who would vote for such a proposal.

    It’s disingenuous to say that NU needs to hold commercial events in their non-profit, property tax exempt U2 zoning district to pay for their Ryan Field project because they are meeting the needs of the community. The needs of the community NU refused to listen to is that are that there must be no commercial concerts.

    NU completed a $260,000 million athletic facility on the lakefront around 2015. NU didn’t need to host commercial concerts to make that feasible. NU is a multi-billion dollar corporation and does not need a zoning change for commercial events smack in the middle of residential neighborhoods to make their project feasible. For people who may not know this- the surrounding neighborhoods existed before NU built Ryan field aka Dyche Stadium.

    NU should consider reimagining their lakefront facility as a place to hold concerts and paying commercial taxes on that property or portion thereof. That facility is located near two large NU parking structures and is not negatively impacting nearby residential properties who are paying property taxes.

    NU is a major corporation who will of course ask for and take anything the council will give them and commercial zoning must be NO.

  2. There is nothing wrong with using the new indoor stadium for more events than a few football games in the fall. In fact, there is something wrong with the common sense of anyone who objects to this reasonable use of a very expensive property.

    If you don’t want to live near Northwestern University, move somewhere else.

    1. Couldn’t agree more with this op-ed. If the University wants to run a for-profit operation, they should be paying for-profit taxes to the city. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

    2. The Football Stadium is smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood and is zoned for collegiate events only. It’s not a few football games, but several other events as well.

  3. Re: Parking. There are large garages in downtown Evanston that are underutilized on nights and weekends. Does or could Northwestern provide bus service to/from Ryan Field so drivers do not crowd residential streets near the Field?

    This article is well written and presents good info that the city should take more seriously before authorizing the present plans for the new field.

  4. Fantastic letter to the editor…one point of clarity. Northwestern’s “Good Neighbor” commitment ended last year. They do not even make a
    $1.0 million payment.