My Kind of Town

On Nov. 9, Northern Illinois University painted Chicago red and black for a day Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office officially proclaimed NIU Day in the city.

The day included the grand opening of the NIU Alumni Association’s new downtown Chicago office and a rally with giveaways and a performance by the Huskie Marching Band at Wrigley Square in Millennium Park.

Later, thousands of Huskies fans packed into the stands at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, for the Huskie Chi-Town Showdown, the first football game ever played in the park. More than 250 fans arrived at the stadium early to attend a pregame reception hosted by the Alumni Association.

NIU alumni Manny Sanchez, ’70, J.D. ’74, and Jeff Yordon, ’70, were instrumental in making the historic game a reality. Sanchez is the board president of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which has authority over the park, and Yordon, chair of the NIU Foundation board of trustees, is a member of the ISFA board.

Click here to read about what it took to turn a Major League Baseball diamond into a college football field.

NIU led for most of the game, with quarterback Ryan Graham making three touchdown passes, but rival Toledo rallied late to come out on top, 31-24.

Video courtesy of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority