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Ryan Field, Evanston

3.8
#4 of 7 in Things to do in Evanston
Ryan Field is a stadium in Evanston, Illinois, United States on the campus of Northwestern University. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the Northwestern Wildcats football team. The field opened in 1926 and holds 47,130 people. Prior to 1997, the stadium was named Dyche Stadium, for William Dyche, Class of 1882, former Evanston mayor and overseer of the building project. In 1997, the field was renamed Ryan Field in honor of the family of Patrick G. Ryan, who was then the chairman of Northwestern's board of trustees. The renaming was made by the other members of the board in recognition of the Ryan family's leadership and numerous contributions to Northwestern, including the lead gift to the Campaign for Athletic Excellence, Northwestern's fundraising drive for athletic facilities.HistoryAt the time it was constructed, Dyche Stadium was considered one of the finest college football stadiums in the country. The stadium originally consisted of two semi circular grandstands on either sideline, with the west (home) sideline having a small, curved upper deck whose 2 ends abut in matching concrete towers. The purpose of the curved grandstands was to maximize the number of fans sitting close to the action. Endzone seating was later added in the south endzone, and in 1952 McGaw Memorial Hall was built beyond the north endzone.The stadium had an artificial turf surface from 1973 to 1996. Prior to the 1997 season, natural grass was installed and the playing surface was lowered approximately five feet to improve sight lines from the lowest rows of the grandstands.
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Ryan Field Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
72 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • September 20, 2017
    It has been improved but there are still more renovations to make. Good viewing lines, but metal bench seats are not that comfortable. Nice college atmosphere, at least when Northwestern wins.  more »
  • September 17, 2017
    Small field. Fun game. Parking is difficult but you can park in the neighborhood nearby and walk to the field. Enthusiastic fan base with locals, alums, students. Good marching band. Lots of fun and w...  more »
  • September 7, 2017
    Although I've only taken courses at Northwestern U. during summers back in my youth (early 60s), I've since enjoyed watching games at this crowded field with Evanston and Lake Forest friends; always a...  more »
Google
  • January 19, 2017
    We love attending events here. Very well maintained, very homey and easily accessible. The patrons are always well behaved and our children are thrilled to be here every time. Parking is also great compared to major college stadiums and its very apparent that NW is very proud of the Ryan Field. We will be back again and again.
  • September 3, 2016
    Great history everywhere here. The towers and stands largely unchanged since 1926 when a University of Chicago vs Northwestern University game was the dedication game. As an alum, it is always fun to return to a place with no cash registers at concessions (love the math!), and upper deck ramp unchanged for nearly a century. Lots of concessions. Fun to walk around outside and in. Wildcat Alley is great and more so with kids for pizza and games. A free beer too...for adults. I do wish seats were chairs and not benches and that was an alumni club and more upgraded seat options. Parking is expensive or iffy. Go 'Cats!
  • November 14, 2016
    Nice venue for college football. Parking can be hard to find, you may have to walk quite a way. There are nice places to eat close.
  • September 18, 2016
    Very Huge Stadium! Ryan Field Truly Rocks. Hats off to Financial Services! They Had A Descent Set Up. Great Food For The Employees and Their Families. Game Was Outstanding!! Northwestern Did Their Thing Against Duke....#GoWildcats
  • November 9, 2016
    One of the smallest and oldest Division I BCS level stadiums. All seats are bleachers, if you have a bad back I definitely encourage you to "rent" one of the temporary seat backs ($5 or $10) for additional support and comfort... The home fans we spoke with were very kind and courteous. My only negative issues are... 1) arrive early, and be prepared to park in the residential areas surrounding the stadium, or take the Metra line or other public transit. And 2) I wish I had brought a pair of earplugs, as the main public address speaker (to the left of the main scoreboard) was the loudest I have ever heard, and if I had been seated any closer to it I would have needed put additional distance between it and my ears...

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