Wildcats and Illini Game at Wrigley Getting Closer

NU and U of I are scheduled to play Nov. 20, and hope to play at Wrigley Field

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    TK
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    CHICAGO - APRIL 22: A fan takes a photograph with his cell phone outside of Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs take on the New York Mets on April 22, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    Northwestern University officials are close to working out the kinks and finalizing a football game at Wrigley Field against the Fighting Illini.

    After seeing the huge success of the NHL’s Winter Classic game at Wrigley, Jim Phillips, the NU athletic director, wanted in on the action.

    "It would be great national exposure and a neat thing for both sides," said Illinois football coach Ron Zook to the Chicago Tribune. "Wrigley Field transcends the whole country."

    Wrigley can hold an entire football field -- but just barely. It would go from right field to third base.

    This won’t be the first time Wrigley has hosted a football game.The Bears called Wrigley Field home from 1921-1970.

    Phillips planned a game at Soldier back in 2007 when he was the athletic director at Northern Illinois.  He is meeting with Cubs officials today to get a solid game plan in place.

    "I thought of how good the Northern Illinois-Iowa game was at Soldier Field,” said Phillips. “This may be the next great venue for a special game." Hopefully he can work his magic with the Cubs this time for a game at Wrigley.

    Officials are confident the game will become a reality. The Tribune reported at least two remaining hurdles: revenue sharing between the Big Ten and the Cubs, and the fact that Northwestern will only have five games at Ryan Field if this Nov. 20 game is at Wrigley.