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  1. So more events that could bring thousands of people into Evanston where they would patronize local businesses is a bad thing? That’s an interesting perspective. Just kidding, as a lifelong Evanstonian I would totally expect to hear this perspective. But maybe both sides can still overcome their differences and find common ground. How about NU agrees that one concert per year will be NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!?

  2. My own personal experience on the evenings when there are night games at the stadium convince me that these proposed changes to Ryan Field will have a profoundly negative impact on the quality of life in the neighborhood surrounding the stadium on the evenings when these events take place. I experience the awful traffic on game days. I have seen the broken glass on the sidewalks and beer cans in the front yards. I have personally experienced the behavior of intoxicated people wandering around the neighborhood and seen someone urinating in my neighbors driveway. Evening concerts where alcohol is served will impact many of our summer weekend evenings in a very negative way. When we moved here we knew we would have 7 game days a year, including one or two at night. We did not know NU would try to change the football stadium into an evening concert venue serving alcohol.

  3. The for profit activities at the proposed Ryan Field, including beer sales, would also produce more tax revenue. And I’m sure Central Street shops aren’t worried about an influx of outsiders into the neighborhood because they spend money which also produces tax revenue.The disruption to the neighborhood from concerts should be seriously considered but the arguments of the objectors must also be serous.

    1. People who feel the new concert venue will be a boon to Evanston seem willing to gamble on assertions that NU makes in its own–not the city’s–interest. The city must do its own due diligence before throwing out zoning ordinances or giving NU a free pass to do whatever it pleases, while still contributing a pittance to the city compared with comparable universities. And don’t assume the Central St. businesses all benefit from game day. In fact numerous business owners speak of a decline in traffic and revenue on game days. We had all better do our homework, and demand accountability and transparency from both the city and NU.

  4. This is a great letter to the editor, but I respectfully suggest that much of the authors’ argument hinges on their assertion: “We don’t want to become Wrigleyville” being universally true. Who is the “we” in that sentence? Surely, it is not every Evanston resident. Likewise, I think the authors do a good job of channeling the ghosts of our city’s teetotalling, handwringing past. Yet their demonstrated acumen in paranormal divination does not erase residents such as myself who would very much like Evanston to remain a place of rollicking fun, loud music, vibrant stuff, and where there is a “booze-and-entertainment center” in walking distance from my house. (Awesome!!!) The things this stadium would bring are good and desirable.

  5. It seems to me that many communities invite the sort of investment Northwestern is willing to make in Evanston. It is especially attractive that the City doesn’t need to outlay any incentives for a generational project with outcomes that benefit our entire city.
    Does anyone think that Highland Park today would deny a Ravinia proposal because of crowds when they generate hundreds of thousands of dollars a season for the local economy? Put me down as an enthusiastic “yes!”

  6. With all due respect to our Evanston neighbors, the notion that Northwestern pays insufficient taxes in Evanston neglects one central fact. Without Northwestern, the value of one’s residential property would be a fraction of what it is. Many of us who moved to Evanston did so because Northwestern is an anchor securing the value of our investments, social and economic investments. Imagine how much worse the economic impact of the pandemic would have been on Evanston without Northwestern. Our business community has still not fully recovered and this stadium proposal offers a real opportunity for economic recovery. That is why Downtown Evanston wrote to this paper to support the new stadium proposal and that is why it’s important for other Evanstonians to get on board and make some sacrifices to secure the economic future of our city. Further, we need to face up to the rapidly declining school enrollments and the rapid aging of our population. Casting the city in amber and nostalgic memories of football games gone by does nothing to secure the future. We need new development, new jobs and new housing and this stadium proposal moves us is the right direction. Build the stadium, invite the musicians and reform the city ordinances preventing success.

  7. This evening my wife was sexually harassed by one of the many vagrants that has found warm welcome in our supposedly livable city. I genuinely implore the Most Livable City Association would turn their attention away from a project that would do our broader community great good and towards the ever increasing homelessness crisis that is making several parts of Evanston almost unlivable.

    1. Hank, if NU actually paid property taxes those Hundreds of Millions not just 3.5M could be used for services to reduce homelessness and improve our schools. Maybe Evanston just shouldn’t sell ourselves short in asking NU to pay their fair share if they are going to hold these massive events.