CHICAGO (AP) - Northwestern will play five college football games at Wrigley Field under a partnership with the Chicago Cubs that was announced on Tuesday.
The dates of the games are still to be determined due to construction work at the Cubs' storied ballpark.
In 2010, Illinois beat Northwestern 48-27 at Wrigley Field in a game that required both teams to run offensive plays only toward the west end zone near the third-base dugout. The east end zone in right field came within a foot or so of a heavily padded brick wall, raising safety concerns.
Under the multiyear agreement, the Cubs will be allowed to market the baseball team on campus while Northwestern will able to do the same at Wrigley Field. Other Northwestern athletic programs also will get to play at the ballpark, including the baseball team and women's lacrosse.
``We are thrilled to partner with a professional sports franchise as iconic as the Chicago Cubs in an agreement that truly is the first of its kind,'' athletic director Jim Phillips said in a release. ``As Chicago's Big Ten Team, this is a natural fit that will create tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes, our coaches and our fans in the area.''
Northwestern's baseball team will host Michigan at Wrigley Field on April 20, and the women's lacrosse program, winners of seven of the last eight NCAA titles, will play Notre Dame at the ballpark next spring.
``The Cubs are excited to establish an ongoing partnership with Northwestern that leverages our brands and facilities to help grow both fan bases for years to come,'' said Crane Kenney, the president of business operations for the Cubs. ``We enjoyed working with the university in 2010 to host the first college football game at Wrigley Field since 1938 and look forward to entertaining a variety of collegiate sporting events in the future.''