Northwestern first fielded a football team in 1876. The program wouldn't adopt the name Wildcats until1924. The Wildcats were ranked #1 during the 1936 and 1962 seasons, a feat they haven't managed since. Northwestern does manage, however, to graduate an impressive percentage of their athletes, and have managed to develop talented players that have gone on to have stellar NFL careers such as Napoleon Harris, Luis Castillo, and Steve Tasker. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for Northwestern Wildcats football tickets.
2016 Northwestern Season Preview
Northwestern had a season of up and downs last year, which included beating Notre Dame, Penn State, and Wisconsin. The Wildcats will look to build on that momentum in 2015, but will have to rely on group of inexperienced quarterbacks to get them there. Northwestern will likely rely heavily on sophomore running back Justin Jackson, who rushed for over 1100 yards as a freshman, and is one of the best returning backs in the Big Ten. As always, Northwestern will have to navigate a difficult Big Ten West division schedule, but should be able to pull out a number of other big wins this season. Top games for the 2015 Northwestern Wildcats will be against Stanford, Iowa, and Penn State.
Check out our Northwestern Wildcats Season Preview History page for previews of previous Wildcats seasons.
Northwestern Wildcats Football at Ryan Field Address: 1501 Central St, Evanston, Illinois, 60201
The Northwestern Wildcats play their home games at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. Opened in 1926, the stadium holds just under 50,000 spectators. Who could forget the double overtime game in 2004 against then #6 Ohio State at Ryan Field, when the Wildcats managed to pull off the upset? The Northwestern Wildcats home bench is on the Ryan Field sideline with sections 122-136. Ryan Field parking information is covered in our Wildcats event guide.
Northwestern vs. Illinois
This state of Illinois rivalry was once played for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk, but that ended in 2008 when the NCAA mandated Native American imagery be removed from competition. Northwestern won the last game, so they got to keep it, but now the Land of Lincoln trophy goes back and forth as each team wins the game. Northwester leads the all-time series, and it really isn’t even close.
Northwestern in the College Football Playoff, Bowl Games, and Big Ten Championship
From 1995 to 2011 the Wildcats suffered nine straight bowl game losses but reversed the trend in 2012 with a win in the Gator Bowl over Mississippi State. The Wildcats struggled mightily from 1970-1990 but have bounced back quite impressively in recent history, conquering the Big Ten Conference Championship three times since 1995. Ticketcity offers tickets to all college football bowl games and the Big Ten Championship Game.
Northwestern Wildcats Event Guide
Does my child need a ticket to attend a Northwestern home football game?
Per Big Ten Conference rules, all guests must purchase a ticket regardless of age, even babies. Northwestern has created a $10 infant "lap ticket" available for purchase on gameday only. Lap tickets may be purchased at any ticket window the day of the game
When do the gates open prior to a Northwestern home football game?
Gates open 1.5 hours prior to kickoff.
What is the best way to get to Ryan Field?
There’s great public transportation available! Ride the Purple CTA line to the Central Street train station, 2 blocks east of Ryan Field or take the Central Street Metra Station -- also conveniently located 2 blocks to the west of Ryan Field at 1601 Central Street.
Where is the best place to eat in Evanston before a Northwestern football game?
Edzo’s is the place to be if you want a burger, while JK Sweets is always a safe bet. If you’re a real foodie though, you might want to give The Purple Pig a try and enjoy every pork-themed dish imaginable.