NIU’s Huskie Stadium, athletic facilities to get $138 million overhaul


A render of an overhauled Huskie Stadium.

By Northern Star Staff

NIU’s Huskie Stadium and its athletic facilities will see overhauls to the tune of an estimated $138 million as part of Athletics Director Sean Frazier’s Facilities Master Plan.

Plans revealed at a Thursday news conference showed Huskie Stadium will have a horseshoe shape after end zone seating is added to the south side of the stadium. Seating will increase to 30,000-35,000; it is currently about 24,000. Frazier also said naming rights for the stadium may be available.

Frazier said the facilities overhauls will cost an estimated $138 million, which will be privately funded. No timeline for the overhaul was presented at the news conference.

Additions to NIU’s athletic complex include a baseball stadium, a tennis facility and an Olympic sports facility.

The baseball stadium will be located northeast of the Convocation Center and south of the Outdoor Recreation Sports Complex. The field will be positioned with the left field line aligned north and the right field line aligned east. The current Field, Ralph McKinzie Field, runs south on a line from home plate to second base.

The baseball stadium will consist of a turf field. The current field is grass, and head coach Ed Mathey said the turf field shouldn’t be affected as much as the grass when weather problems like rain arise.

The proposed tennis facility and the Olympic sports facility will be located west of the Chessick Practice Center, where Ralph McKinzie Field is situated.

The tennis facility will be the home of the men’s and women’s tennis programs and will contain four indoor tennis courts. An adjacent building will house locker rooms, player lounges and equipment storage, among other things.

Frazier said the athletic department will explore allowing court time to be rented to community members and non-student-athletes.

The proposed Olympic sports facility will be west of the tennis facility. The facility includes practice areas for golf, gymnastics and wrestling. Gymnastics and wrestling currently practice in Huskie Stadium, while neither golf program has a practice area on campus.

The Olympic sports facility will also house locker rooms and lounges for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, track & field, cross country, gymnastics and wrestling.