The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Illinois-NU Game To Use One End Zone

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 19, 2010 7:20PM

If you're attending tomorrow's Allstate Wrigleyville Classic between Illinois and Northwestern or watching it on television and it looks like a game of "losers walk," well, that's by design.

Fearing the possibility of injuries mounting up if players from the two teams run into the right field wall, it was decided that only the west end zone, positioned along the third base line, will be used by both teams for offensive plays. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement released today affirmed that the health and safety of the Illini and Wildcats are paramount.

"Both Illinois and Northwestern did significant due diligence over the past 18 months, but after seeing the actual layout of the field, all parties felt that it was appropriate to adjust the rules to further enhance the safety of our student-athletes. Wrigley Field is one of the most historic venues in the country, and playing the Illinois-Northwestern game at this facility will provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans."

All kickoffs will head toward the east end zone, teams will switch sides of the field after changes in possession, and the two teams will even split the west end zone bench (Illinois gets it the first half, NU the second).

It's a unique twist to the return of football to Wrigley Field made necessary partly by the Cubs numerous additions of seating over the years. the layout of the field for tomorrow's game isn't much different from when the Bears used to call Wrigley Field home, but the field is squeezed sardine-tight between right field and the third base line.

We have to ask: couldn't some engineering students from both school looked at the layout and simply moved it to where the east end zone is in straight away center field?