Northwestern-Illinois Game Will Only Use One End Zone At Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field goalpost football

Photo: Yahoo

The Big 10 announced that because of safety concerns with the Wrigley Field configuration, only one endzone will be used for the Illinois-Northwestern game this Saturday.The teams will switch sides on every offensive possession so that the team with the ball will always be heading toward the west end zone.

That’s because the east end zone butts up against Wrigley’s famous ivy-covered brick wall, creating the potential for massive (though unlikely) collisions.

The new ground rules:

  • All offensive plays will head toward the west end zone, including all extra points and all overtime possessions.
  • All kickoffs will be kicked toward the east end zone.
  • After every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the offence to head toward the west end zone.
  • Illinois will occupy the west team bench in the first half and Northwestern will occupy the west team bench in the second half and for all overtime periods.

One unintended consequence? The teams could end up playing the vast majority of the game on one end of the field, which could seriously compromise the quality of the turf late in the game.

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