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  1. Garrett,
    Before you endorse Northwestern’s specious arguments, please look at their track record. Construction jobs for Evanston residents have not materialized to any great extent in any of the numerous previous construction projects that they have undertaken.

    Despite what Northwestern is saying, partnering with local businesses for concessions does not appear to be in their plans since they have indicated that The Levy Co. will be working the concessions.
    It is appalling that our local Chamber of Commerce is willing to sell out a neighborhood for the promise of future handouts from an organization that is pushing to out-compete with them on an unequal playing field.

  2. The Chamber is flying on a wing and a prayer by putting their trust in NU’s promises, unless they know something we groundlings don’t. There has been virtually no transparency in NU’s economic impact study or opinion surveys. With so much at stake, the City needs to conduct its own. Some Evanston businesses might–and might not–benefit from NU’s plan. So far, there are promises but no verified data (although we know the alcohol concession at Ryan Arena has gone to Levy, not to an Evanston brewery).
    As for Northwestern investing significant time “into soliciting community feedback from residents, businesses and stakeholders,” I’m laughing and crying at the same time. Virtually NONE of the questions I and many others have posed have been answered formally or informally, and certainly not credibly or satisfactorily. If downtown businesses believe they will feast on the fat of NU’s kingdom, one can only hope you’re right. Meanwhile, NU is demanding unfettered use of its proposed billion dollar funhouse, a venture that many Central St. businesses (except the bars) fear will hurt them, some mortally. Finally, as for Northwestern presenting Evanston with “a unique opportunity to address many of the problems with the current Ryan Field,” I think the purple Kool-Aid has gone to your head. It will greatly exacerbate the problems we experience, because the Seventh Ward is uniquely UNSUITED to hosting a mega-venue as NU is doggedly determined to build.

  3. I’ve been reading the letters/articles/comments about Northwestern’s plans to rebuild Ryan Field. I don’t understand why anyone would object to the idea of a better, more modern stadium with better services (alcohol) and food options. For many years (decades), the parking lot across the street from Ryan Field was a hideous mess. Northwestern did a great job updating the parking lot. Most of the objections to the new stadium seem to be around the possibility of larger crowds (because of alcohol?) and more events (more traffic and noise). I grew up near the stadium and McGaw Hall when Northwestern held concerts there. (I think it is odd that Northwestern no longer has concerts.) I saw REM there in the ’80s. As a former neighbor, I am curious as to why current neighbors are so certain that having more events and larger crowds at football games would be bad for Evanston and their neighborhood. From my experience the concerts and other events at McGaw Hall were a non-issue. Do I think that Northwestern is a terrific neighbor, no, but I don’t think any of the arguments against the new stadium make any sense either.

    1. I can’t speak for everyone, Bob, but my objection is not to the planned rebuild, it’s to the changes NU is seeking to the zoning ordinance for the U2 district (where the stadium and arena sit).

      Among other changes, NU wants to strike “nonprofit” from the current zoning, allow ten 35,000-person outdoor evening concerts annually, allow unlimited non-collegiate sporting events with no attendance cap, and allow unlimited 10,000-person indoor and outdoor “musical performances” and other events.

    2. Bob,
      concerts were student sponsored, and as such they are still allowed under current zoning. NU stopped doing them because they were not profitable to them. You are obviously unaware of the full history of student concerts at NU, for example on several occasions they caused disruption and adverse effects on the community. Read the history on
      The parking lot is great due to the input by the neighborhood. Thank us for having demanded and fought for many of its positive aspects (such as type of illumination, tree and bushes cover etc.) Without our input you would have a very different type of parking lot.

      This is not just about 10 concerts, which if passed would increase in time just as night games creeped in and increased despite NU’s promise in the 90’s (when they applied to renovate Dyche and make into Ryan Field), that they would not have any night games.
      This is about the zoning change. Instead of 7 football game days that we have now, and graduations, NU proposes another 3 days of college pro-days combines, that’s 10 days. Add the 10 concerts that’s 20. Then add UNLIMITED events that do not have to be sponsored by the University, and that’s a stream of 35K crowds (for an extra 10 days), and 10K crowds at any time during the year, and as many times NU deems it fit. And that’s just for starters. Because if they get that, NU would certainly demand in the future to have more “35K days”. That’s their modus operandi. And to make it really “fun” the band would be allowed to practice and play at any of these events. All this coupled with a stadium that in its entirety is almost twice as high as it is now (not counting the single towers, the light from this tall building would even further cancel out the night sky, disrupt our sleep and endanger birdlife in its migrations. The added traffic would bring pollution to all of Evanston. There are too many negative effects from this proposal to list them all here. The Chamber of Commerce for over 50 years has always tried to ram through a zoning change in favor of NU, and the City officials have protected the zoning law (except for a brief experiment in 2019 when NU clearly stated: but it’s only concerts for Welsh Ryan Arena, we have no intention of using the stadium for that purpose).
      There is a reason for not allowing NU to change the zoning. Knowing the history of what has happened here in the 7th Ward through the years, starting from the early 1900’s to today, is paramount to understanding why this NU proposal needs to be stopped.
      Daily cacophony is not fun. Noise until midnight (11pm plus the time for break-down and crowds leaving) is torture.
      The reason for NU wanting a new stadium is solely so that they can host professional events year round, and profit from it and throw crumbs at the City of Evanston.

  4. Garret Garp, Have you talked to us, the residents surrounding Ryan Field?
    If not, you sHould Before endorsing the reconstruction. We(the residents) are very concerned about traffic, congestion, and 35 events held each year.
    We pay high property taxes here, NU doesn’t.