Huskies set for city

By Scott Nicol

Football plays at home of White Sox

DeKALB | NIU’s football team is set to play the first ever non-baseball sporting event in the 25-year lifespan of the home of the Chicago White Sox in the Huskie Chi-Town Showdown.

Newly renamed “Guaranteed Rate Field”, 333 W 35th St. Chicago, built in 1991, will play host to a midweek MACtion game 7 p.m. Wednesday when NIU (3-6, 3-2 MAC) will play against University of Toledo (7-2, 4-1 MAC).

“The plan has been exceptional by all parties,” NIU athletic director Sean T. Frazier said, according to NIU Media Services. “Our staff, the Illinois Sports Facilities Association, the White Sox organization, the independent contractors, ESPN and the league office; everyone has worked very hard.”

The Huskies will be wearing alternate black uniforms with white lettering and gray stripes on the shoulders as a nod to the Chicago White Sox. NIU’s helmets will be black with two white stripes down the middle and white numbers on the side of the helmet. The back of the helmet will have part of the Chicago skyline, the stars from Chicago’s flag and the team’s motto, “The hard way” at the bottom.

The game will be homecoming for eight Huskie players from Chicago.

“For NIU, it’s tremendous to have the ability to have a first-rate facility like Guaranteed Rate Field, and an organization like the White Sox host our alumni and fans, our student-athletes and our coaches,” Frazier said according to NIU Media Services. “To do that in the third-largest media market in the country is a phenomenal way to expose the program on a national level. It’s basically almost like a bowl game, midweek in November in Chicago. “

The Huskies have defeated Toledo in seven of eight meetings, including six consecutive games, but Toledo leads the all-time series 29-14.

NIU defeated Toledo 32-27 last time these teams met Nov. 3, 2015, when redshirt junior quarterback Drew Hare was injured and redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Graham relieved him and led the Huskies to a victory.

Kenny Golladay, redshirt senior wide receiver, continues to climb the Huskies all-time receiving ranks, surpassing the 2,000-yard mark with only 23 career games played for NIU.

Golladay had six receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown when these teams met last season and will look to move his consecutive reception streak to 24 games Wednesday.

Students interested in taking the fan bus will need to meet at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on the east side of Huskie Stadium on E. Stadium Drive. Malcom Neely, director of athletics and recreation for SA said the tickets for the game are free with an NIU OneCard, but the bus will be $5 per student and is limited to 150 students. Tickets must be purchased at

Fan bus packages are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason. The name on the purchased ticket must match the NIU OneCard presented at check-in. The bus will depart 4 p.m. from DeKalb and will leave Guaranteed Rate Field 45 minutes after the conclusion of the game.

Students will not be permitted to bring any liquids on the bus, and bags will be searched before leaving Dekalb.

Wednesday’s game will broadcast on NIU network affiliates WLBK-AM 1360/FM 98.9, AM 560 The Answer for Chicago frequencies and Sports Fan 1330 for Rockford.