Northwestern set to renovate stadium after $480 million gift

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
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EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern is set to renovate its football stadium thanks to a $480 million donation from the family of Patrick and Shirley Ryan.

The school said Wednesday that the gift will also help fund other university projects. But it’s the lead donation to renovate the stadium – Ryan Field – bearing the family’s name.

The school will seek more donations to complete a project it says will create “an enhanced gameday experience for students, alumni, fans and the surrounding community.” Part of that will be making the stadium “exceptionally accessible” by exceeding requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as focusing on environmental sustainability.

The school said it will meet with community members before revealing design plans.

Ryan Field opened in 1926 and expanded in 1949 and 1952. The 47,000-seat stadium underwent an extensive renovation in 1997 supported by a gift from the Ryans.