Chicago Venue Guide: Ryan Field

Chicago Venue Guide: Ryan Field

Going to a football game at Northwestern’s Ryan Field? Here’s everything you’ll need to know to make it the best possible time, from picking out where to sit, figuring out how you’re getting there and what you’re going to do once you get there.

Northwestern Ryan Field Seating and Parking
1501 Central St., Evanston, IL 60208
Click HERE for Directions

Seating at Ryan Field

As is the case with all college stadiums, there are student sections for the home team and visitor sections for the fans of the visiting team.  Student sections are primarily  sections 132-134 with spillover into 135 & 136 (which are officially the Young Alumni sections.) The visitor sections are  primarily in sections 101-104 but spill over into 105 and sometimes in the opposite corner in sections 123-124 and even the end zone.


Parking, Tailgating and Getting to the Game

If you want to tailgate before a Northwestern football game, there are free lots and coupon-only lots. The free lots are much further away from Ryan Field, along Sheridan Road, but you can take the free shuttle to the game. The pre-pay (coupon only) lots are right near the field, see map below. You can see where the free lots are by clicking here.

Parking lots open four hours before kickoff and tailgating is allowed in all open-air lots. The covered lot at the hospital does not allow tailgating.


If you choose public transportation, The Purple Line of the “El” drops you off on Central Street 2 blocks east of the stadium and the Metra Union Pacific-North Line drops you off at the  Central Street station, 2 blocks west of the stadium at Green Bay Road.

Pace’s NU Ryan Field Express is another option that moves fans from the Schaumburg Park-n-Ride (near Woodfield Mall) to Ryan Field, arriving 1 hour before kickoff for $4/each way. For more info on Pace’s  Express Service to Ryan Field, click here.

Northwestern Will Call

When you purchase tickets from Gold Coast Tickets for a Northwestern game, you can choose to pick your tickets up at our very own Will Call Window, located at Gate E on the east side of the stadium. Just make sure you bring your ID and credit card that you used to purchase the tickets. We will have the tickets available for pick-up 90 minutes prior to kickoff.


Big Ten Stadium Capacities:

Illinois Memorial Stadium 70,000 
Indiana Memorial Stadium 52,692 
Iowa Kinnick Stadium 70,585 
Michigan Stadium 106,201 
Michigan State Spartan Stadium 75,005 
Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium 50,805 
Northwestern Ryan Field 49,256 
Ohio State Ohio Stadium 102,329 
Penn State Beaver Stadium 107,282 
Purdue Ross-Ade Stadium 62,500 
Wisconsin Camp Randall Stadium 80,321

Click HERE for the official Northwestern Football Visitor Guide

Click HERE to check out a cool Big Ten and Big 12 stadium info-graphic

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