Wrigley Field is already paying dividends for the Northwestern Wildcats as football season tickets sales are up 40 percent, NU Athletic Director Jim Phillips said Friday.
The revelation came at a press conference at Wrigley Field where Phillips also announced that Allstate will be the title of sponsor of the Wildcats’ game at the Friendly Confines Nov. 20 against Illinois.
The game will officially be called the Allstate Wrigleyville Classic and ticket sales for the game are going so well that Phillips expects to sell out the game without opening up sales to the general public. Right now Northwestern’s allottment of 32,000 tickets at Wrigley Field are only available to season ticket holders, which has resulted in the large spike of season tickets sold.
“It will be the most in a decade and we hope we can even spike higher than that,” Phillips said about Northwestern’s season tickets.
A Big Ten mandate requires Northwestern to set aside 3,000 tickets for Illinois and another 5,000 seats will go to the Cubs, Phillips said. Based on those numbers, Northwestern could have a big advantage over Illinois in the amount of purple in the stands, but Phillips isn’t that nieve.
“Do we feel like every ticket will be a Northwestern fan? I don’t think that’s realistic,” Phillips said. “The Illinois fans are smart and they will find ways to get them. If they went and bought season tickets, then we thank them for doing that and we hope that every week during the college football season they root for Illinois with the exception of November 20.”
No matter which team has more fans, Northwestern will be the home team and receive the majority of the profits. Details about events surrounding the game have yet to come, but head coach Pat Fitzgerald confirmed Friday that his team will take the CTA Purple Line to the game from Evanston.
Asked whether or not the train would be chartered, Fitzgerald’s answer was clear:
“I’m the football coach, it better be the charted ‘El’. I’m just going to walk on and go,” he said jokingly. “It’ll be chartered. It’ll be the special purple line express.”
Northwestern will unveil new football jerseys Friday after practice. The jerseys will be worn throughout the 2010-11 season.
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