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Northwestern set to construct ‘game-changer’ football facility

Pat Fitzgerald AP

The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein reports Northwestern will begin construction on a sparkling new athletic facility in 2015 (the Tribune has mock-ups here) that could provide a nice boost to Pat Fitzgerald’s recruiting efforts in Evanston.

Fitzgerald, despite last year’s injury-riddled 5-7 season, has built a nice base of success at Northwestern. Three of the program’s dozen seasons with eight wins or more have come since 2008, and 2012’s Gator Bowl win marked the program’s first bowl victory since 1948.

But Northwestern’s football facilities have lagged behind the rest of the Big Ten — though these planned new facilities will be a significant upgrade. Fitzgerald has said the new facilities will be a “game-changer.”

Greenstein reports the total cost for the two buildings on the shore of Lake Michigan will exceed $220 million. Plans for the facilities — which will be used by other athletic teams as well — were announced in 2012.

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19 Responses to “Northwestern set to construct ‘game-changer’ football facility”
  1. friarjack61 says: Mar 14, 2014 10:38 AM

    Northwestern alum, can help Pat, with their continued financial contributions to the football structure, as well as all the campus sports programs.
    Go Cats !!

  2. manik56 says: Mar 14, 2014 11:13 AM

    Will it be built by union workers?

  3. thraiderskin says: Mar 14, 2014 11:22 AM

    Oh no… Ohio State better watch it’s ass.

  4. spreadthecheese says: Mar 14, 2014 11:38 AM

    @theraiderskin

    I’m just playing devil’s advocate here (I could care less about the Big Ten), but an injured Northwestern team was beating Ohio State 23-20 heading into the 4th quarter this past year.

    If Northwestern almost beat Ohio State when a good share of its team was on life support and they had inadequate facilities to attract recruits…

  5. sparty0n says: Mar 14, 2014 1:08 PM

    manik56 says:
    Mar 14, 2014 11:13 AM
    Will it be built by union workers?

    and how exactly does that help NW in recruiting?

  6. raysfan1 says: Mar 14, 2014 1:28 PM

    Spartyon, I do believe that was a joke since it is Northwestern players leading the effort to try to get a college players’ union.

  7. thraiderskin says: Mar 14, 2014 3:16 PM

    Spreadthecheese… I find your point valid for this year, but I mean in the long run, moving forward. MSU has had a good team for a couple years, but they aren’t a powerhouse. Its about sustained success and this “game changer” isn’t a real threat to that. Is Ohio State going to have bad seasons, yes, were they overrated this past year, yes, but Ohio State is a top program for more than just a couple years/decade. Northwestern needs a real game changer, not just a fancy gun.

  8. thraiderskin says: Mar 14, 2014 3:17 PM

    Gun= gym.

  9. 10kmp says: Mar 14, 2014 5:09 PM

    @spreadthecheese says:

    “If Northwestern almost beat Ohio State when a good share of its team was on life support and they had inadequate facilities to attract recruits…”

    Listen, any team can “almost” beat any other team on any given day, but “almost” doesn’t count… unless you’re a perennial also ran or worse. Ohio State, no matter who does or doesn’t like it, is one of the five most storied, tradition laden and winning programs in the history of college football. That Northwestern is building a new athletic facility is about as concerning to Ohio State and Urban Meyer as what color socks Pat Fitzgerald is wearing today. I’m not knocking NW or Fitzgerald (I like their program), but Ohio State is the bully on the block in the B1G, and it’s been that way, generally speaking, for about 80 years now.

  10. spreadthecheese says: Mar 14, 2014 5:35 PM

    @10kmp:

    Ohio State has owned Michigan for a decade now and you’re still way, way behind the Wolverines in your rivalry with them. Yeah, Northwestern isn’t a historic power like Ohio State, but let’s not act like Ohio State is SEC caliber, either.

  11. 10kmp says: Mar 14, 2014 7:19 PM

    @spreadthecheese:

    I don’t know where you went to college, or if you went to college… but your definition of “way, way off” is inane.

    Team Michigan Ohio State
    National titles 11 7
    Heisman Trophies 3 7
    Bowl appearances 41 42
    BCS bowl appearances 5 10
    Rose Bowl appearances 20 14
    Consensus All-Americans 78 78
    Big Ten titles 42 35
    All-time record 903–315–36 837–316–53
    All-time win percentage .734 .716

  12. footballnut85 says: Mar 14, 2014 7:28 PM

    No one more deserving than Fitz! Truly a class act with a passion for the game and his alma mater!

  13. lbijake says: Mar 14, 2014 8:46 PM

    Ohio State, when not on probation, is a good program.

  14. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Mar 15, 2014 10:51 AM

    Ohio State, when i think of them the first thing that comes to mind is Andy Katzenmoyer. How he graduated from The Ohio State University, and reports from the pros talking about how he could barely read! On a different note Northwestern is currently irrelevant. Hopefully better facilities will change that, good luck cats!

  15. 10kmp says: Mar 15, 2014 11:29 AM

    @iwishwvuwouldbeatbama

    This is college FOOTBALL talk, not college academic talk, but I’ll play along. Ohio State doesn’t compare to Northwestern academically… and Northwestern doesn’t compare to Ohio State from a football perspective. So while you think of Andy Katzenmoyer and his intellect and draw the conclusion that Ohio State is subpar academically, I think of Northwestern’s almost unparalleled history of losing football, a crappy “stadium” at 30% capacity, and a program at an elite university that cannot compete with other elite schools like Notre Dame and Stanford on the football field…

  16. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Mar 15, 2014 2:22 PM

    @10kmp says

    I agree that Northwestern doesn’t compare athletically. Was just bringing up a memory. I’m actually a fan of Jim Tressel’s style of football, would love to have him @ WVU!

  17. houndofthebaskervols says: Mar 15, 2014 6:29 PM

    Good, Fitzgerald has earned it!

  18. onbucky96 says: Mar 15, 2014 10:46 PM

    What, reward those tools trying to unionize and ruin my Saturdays? They are students playing college football.

  19. polegojim says: Mar 16, 2014 1:00 PM

    @10kmp

    Since we’re talking ‘football terms’ – in terms of ‘seasons’ and how long it would take to catch up…

    4 more Nat Champs
    6 more Rose Bowl appearances
    7 more B1G Titles

    …really is ‘way way off’.

    When will OSU make a dent in any of the above?

    I’m just saying…

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