College Football Showdown at Wrigley

By Cristina Aguirre

The final score of the last football game played at Wrigley Field on Dec. 13, 1970 was Chicago Bears 35, Green Bay Packers 17. Thirty-nine years, 11 months and seven days later, football returned Nov. 20 to the field on Clark and Addison Streets. Northwestern University played host to the University of Illinois in the teams’ 104th rivalry meeting. This was the first time the two colleges played at Wrigley Field since 1923.

The dimensions for the football game on Nov. 20 were different from when the Bears called Wrigley Field home. The football field ran from East to West, which was not how the Bears played. From 1921 to 1970, the football field at Wrigley ran from North to South. Because there were extra seats  added behind home plate and in left field when the Bears left, there was no room to put the field in its original direction.

In right field, where the east end zone was located, there was only one to two feet of space from the back of the end zone to the ivy-covered walls which were padded resembling the look of an arena football game.

A day before the game, Big Ten officials deemed it unsafe for players and forced the game to played offensively on one side going toward the west end zone.

Every offensive possession would go the same direction, with kickoffs going towards the east endzone. This difference may have created confusion for many fans, but as the game wore on, some people seemed to forget about it. The Chronicle’s Assistant Health and Fitness Editor, Etheria Modacure, takes you to the field.