About Ryan Field
Located just outside Chicago in the suburb of Evanston, Illinois, the 49,000-plus seat Ryan Field dominates the local landscape. As part of the Northwestern University campus, this football field has been the home of countless games over the decades it’s been in existence, hosting more NCAA Division I games than you can shake a stick at. If there’s one college football venue that’s got tons of history behind it, it’s Ryan Field for sure!
The History of Ryan Field
Originally built in 1926, Ryan Field was originally known as Dyche Stadium after William Dyche, a former mayor of Evanston, an alumnus of Northwestern, and the man in charge of the building project. At the time, it was capable of holding around 25,000 fans, and it was thought of as one of the best stadiums in college football.
As the college and the popularity of NCAA Division I football continued to grow over the next century, so did the venue. Near-constant renovations would see its seating capacity nearly double, and the field itself would go from natural grass to Astroturf to back to natural grass once again. It officially lost the name Dyche Stadium and was renamed Ryan Field in 1997 in honor of the chairman of Northwestern’s board of trustees, Patrick G. Ryan.
What Makes Ryan Field Events So Special?
Ryan Field is a piece of history, despite its updated and renovated appearance. Catching a game at this storied stadium puts you right into the middle of football history like none other!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Ryan Field located?
Ryan Field is located just outside Chicago in the suburb of Evanston, Illinois.
What kind of events does Ryan Field host?
Football may be the main Ryan Field event, but that’s not the only game you might see there, of course. Northwestern University uses the venue all the time for other uses, though mostly during the day — that’s because Ryan Field is one of the only NCAA football fields that doesn’t have permanent lighting fixtures, believe it or not!
Which team is playing at Ryan Field?
Since the first time a pigskin spiraled through the air in 1926, Ryan Field has been home to the Northwestern Wildcats. This NCAA Division I football team has been a member of the Big Ten Conference from way back, and they’re proud of their status as one of the oldest collegiate football teams around.
Where can I park for free at Ryan Field?
The lots immediately surrounding the stadium are all permit parking only, and in general, there is no day-of-game parking for Ryan Field events. Also, street parking around the stadium is extremely limited, and violators will be towed. However, there are a number of off-campus parking lots in the surrounding area, prices vary - so be sure to double-check before parking.
What is the seating capacity of Ryan Field?
Ryan Field sporting events can host over 49,000 spectators.
Who owns Ryan Field?
Ryan Field is owned by Northwestern University.
How do I get to Ryan Field using public transport?
Fans wishing to reach Ryan Field events on public transport are in luck. The closest transit stations are Metra commuter railroad's Central Street station and Chicago Transit Authority's Central station on the Purple Line.