Northwestern wants to return to Wrigley Field, and athletics director Jim Phillips is hoping it can happen as soon as next year.
Phillips told the Tribune's Teddy Greenstein that he's hoping to get the Wildcats back to the Friendly Confines for a football game very soon.
"We're anxious to get something done," Phillips said in Greenstein's report. "I'm close with those guys. I talk to (Cubs chairman) Tom (Ricketts) all the time. Everyone is motivated to do it. It's really on their timeline."
The Cats played Illinois on the North Side in 2010, but the game setup was less than ideal, with both teams marching toward the same end zone given tight dimensions at Wrigley. No one wanted a wide receiver to smack into the brick outfield wall while going for a touchdown pass, a perfectly reasonable safety concern. But the game was mocked for that setup, despite the very cool visual of a college football game in a century-old baseball stadium.
So, the next Northwestern game at the corner of Clark and Addison — Greenstein wrote that as many as five more have been agreed to since 2013 — will have to wait until the ongoing Wrigley Field renovations make a football field and adequate space surrounding the field possible.
Could that be as soon as next season, as Phillips hopes? Sounds like the ball is in the Cubs' court. Or field. Diamond, actually. Whatever.