NIU to play Toledo in historic game at U.S. Cellular Field

By Northern Star staff

History will be made this year at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago as NIU will play against the University of Toledo in the “Huskie Chi-Town Showdown,” the first football game ever played in the baseball stadium.

The game will take place Nov. 9 and will be aired nationally on ESPN. It will be the first MAC game to ever take place in Chicago and the fourth game NIU has played in Chicago over the last 10 years.

Tickets for the game are priced between $45-$65 and will officially go on sale Aug. 1. Attending the game will be free for NIU students with a OneCard and guest tickets will be priced at $22. Those who purchase season tickets will also have access to the game.

The Huskies have beaten the Rockets six straight times including a 32-27 win Nov. 3, 2015 in Toledo.

“This is a historical moment and an outstanding day,” said NIU Athletic Director Sean Frazier, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “Our fans have said, ‘Come back to Chicago, come to the city.’ Well, we’ve listened and we’re back. There are 145,000 NIU alumni living and working in Chicagoland. U.S. Cellular Field is a fantastic venue and I can’t wait for our fans to see this game in the ballpark. For years, NIU and Toledo have been featured in the November weeknight MACtion games on ESPN, and in 2016, we are taking it to another level.”

NIU is coming off a year when it went 8-6 including its two final games where it lost by a total of 68 points. The Huskies lost more than 10 seniors but got a recruit class of more than 20 this offseason.

“We are really excited to play the first ever football game at US Cellular Field,” said head coach Rod Carey, according to NIU Athletics. “Chicago is extremely important to us and it is going to be a fun atmosphere with a midweek night game on TV against a fine opponent in Toledo. I want to thank everyone that has had a part in getting this done, beginning with our administration, the Chicago White Sox and all of the people and the board at the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Our players will be ready to go to Chicago and play in front of a great Huskie home crowd.”