Monday, July 27, 2009
Zook eyes game at Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field has turned into Chicago's newest hot spot for big-time concerts, and it also hosted the NHL's Winter Classic, so what's next for the legendary stadium? According to Illinois football coach Ron Zook, it could be an Illinois-Northwestern matchup.
Zook, appearing on the "Waddle and Silvy" show on ESPN 1000 on Monday morning, said he would love the chance for the two Big Ten rivals to square off in the "Friendly Confines."
"Well, to be honest with you, we were there last night and walking around with the people there and I just think it would be an awesome venue," Zook said. "Obviously, until just a couple years ago, there had been more NFL games played in that stadium than any other stadium, and there hasn't been a game played there since 1970.
"And can you imagine the national media? I think it would be great to have that opportunity. I'm probably speaking out of turn, the higher-ups make the decisions, obviously."
According to recent reports, Northwestern has been trying to schedule a game at Wrigley Field, but such issues as potential opponent, finances and field dimensions could derail the plan. The Illinois-Northwestern game would take place in 2010.
"There is enough room [to accommodate safety concerns]," Zook said. "One of the end zones is going to be very, very tight. But I think they're excited about the opportunity, and I think it would be great for the city of Chicago, I think it would be great for Northwestern and great for the University of Illinois."
The Chicago Bears played at Wrigley Field from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field.
"As you can tell, I would be very, very excited about having that opportunity," Zook said. "And once again, it's such a great atmosphere, and gosh, I know the hockey match with the attention that it drew, and I think it would be a great thing for all of us."