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Published on May 28, 2024
Northwestern University Teams Up with Nations Group for Temporary Stadium Amidst $800M Ryan Field RevampSource: Google Street View

Northwestern University steps up its game—literally—as it gears up for some major home-field changes. With the current Ryan Field on the brink of demolition, the Wildcats aren't just rolling over. They've roped in powerhouse Nations Group to quarterback the construction of a temporary stadium, ensuring the team's roar won't be silenced during the $800 million makeover of their sporting sanctuary.

According to Crain's Chicago Business, the new playing field—pegged at a cozy 15,000 seats—will be squeezed into the confines of the Lanny and Sharon Martin athletics complex. Under Nations Group's game plan, most Wildcats' home football games are set to be played on this makeshift gridiron, along with soccer, and lacrosse for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. Nations Group, seasoned pros with an impressive roster, including the likes of Desert Diamond Arena and a $240 million revamp of Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State, seem to have their playbook down pat.

The temporary digs have been handed off to InProduction, a firm that’s no stranger to creating pop-up sports venues. They'll be hustling to get the structure game-ready while Ryan Field undergoes its transformation. Project mavens HNTB and Perkins&Will are bringing their A-game to design the new 35,000-seat arena, complete with a canopy structure to shade three seating decks, as reported by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Northwestern's VP and COO, Luke Figora, pinned a badge of honor on Nations Group, saying they're "uniquely qualified to assist us with this project." Their track record is a testament in itself, having tackled renovation plays across universities nation-wide. And their current dance card isn't exactly empty— they're already knee-deep in multiple projects, such as the $700 million overhaul of Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, and they're not stopping there. Sports Business Journal notes that demolition of the existing stadium, that seats 47,000, will commence later this year, as Northwestern preps for a big reveal in 2026. With the clock ticking, Nations Group is taking the field with the drive of a team eyeing the championship. Wildcats, prepare for some home turf hustle.