Northwestern University is excited to welcome the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers and their fans on their first road trip to Northwestern as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Cornhusker fans are known as some of the best and friendliest fans in all of college football, so Wildcat fans hope that you find that the feeling is mutual. Here is a quick game day guide for all of the members of Big Red Nation making the trip for the first time.
As you may be aware, Northwestern plays its home games at what is commonly known as Ryan Field. Few outside of the Northwestern community, though, know that "Ryan Field" is merely a nickname. The real Ryan Field is a pastoral meadow of native grasses surrounded by a few old administrative buildings located a few blocks from campus on Central Street. The meadow is named after school founder John Evans's son Ryan, who would play in the field while his father went about the business of building the university. When the university began sporting a football team, students cheekily referred to the dirt area by Lake Michigan where the team played as "Ryan Field." Today, the stadium is officially known as "Lakeside Field," so when asking anyone for directions, be sure to say "Lakeside Field."
Lakeside Field is easy to find once you reach campus. Simply head east (toward Lake Michigan), and you will find it just north of the lagoon and south of the beach. As you will see, the Lakeside Field is a bit smaller than other Big Ten stadiums, but Northwestern fans prefer the more personal, intimate setting to enjoy football. To put it another way, would you rather see Garth Brooks from the top of the state fair grandstands or up close at a barn dance?
Guests should also be aware that Northwestern games rarely start on time. While kickoff is set for 2:30 local Mountain time, university policy does not allow athletic events to commence until the last class of the day is completed, and the Saturday session for Introduction to 20th Century American History is notorious for running long. Northwestern fans are well aware of this scheduling quirk, but visiting fans should plan accordingly.
Getting to the Northwestern campus is quite easy. If you are driving, take I-94/I-90 south and follow I-94/Dan Ryan Expressway to I-94/Bishop Ford Freeway to Exit 71B and then follow Sibley Road (Route 83) east until you see the campus.
If you are taking the train, you will need to head to the Loop, and then take the Green Line to either the Oak Park or Cottage Grove stops. Campus is a few blocks toward the lake.
If you are taking a bus, find any north/south bus and tell the driver "Take Me to The Game!" You may get a friendly "Go Cats!" in return, but then you can sit back and enjoy ride.