Donation from the Ryans, whose names appear on both the football stadium and Northwestern basketball arena, will include funds for other college projects, but will serve as the main donation for a stadium reconstruction . Northwestern said it will generate additional donations to complete the project, which will likely begin after the 2022 football season.
The donation of $ 480 million is the largest in the history of the university.
Originally built in 1926, the football stadium was last renovated in 1997, when it also changed its name from Dyche Stadium to Ryan Field. Patrick and Shirley Ryan are both Northwestern graduates, and Patrick Ryan served as the school’s board chair for 14 years.
Northwestern will soon be reviewing bids from architecture and design firms for the stadium project, which aims to exceed U.S. disability law requirements and become more accessible to all fans. The team would play at least one season – and quite possibly two – in other venues, with Soldier Field in Chicago as a likely option. Northwestern could also play more end-of-season games at Wrigley Field, where it will host Purdue on November 20.
“We deeply appreciate the Ryan family’s enduring dedication to our student-athletes,” athletic director Derrick Gragg said in a statement. “The impact of their visionary generosity on Wildcats past, present and future is truly unmatched. The reconstructed Ryan Field will be a world-class venue worthy of this institution’s pursuit of excellence in all fields.
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