Illinois football discontinues Soldier Field series against Northwestern


Fireworks shoot over Soldier Field in Chicago during the Illinois vs. Washington football game, which was the last time the Illini played in Chicago. Illinois signed to play Northwestern at Soldier Field three times during the next five seasons.

By The Daily Illini Sports Staff

The Illinois football team announced some schedule changes for the next few years.

The Illini will play Nebraska on Sept. 29 next season, which is a Friday. The game will be one of six Big Ten primetime matchups televised on FOX or ESPN for next year. The Cornhuskers defeated the Illini earlier this season, 31-16.

Illinois will also no longer play its biannual game at Soldier Field against Northwestern. Illinois will still play games at Soldier Field, with the first against South Florida on Sept. 18, 2018 in Chicago. The Illini have never played the Bulls in football.  

“We feel strongly that we should play our traditional rivalry games in Champaign, but at the same time we are committed to a strong presence in Chicago,” Athletic Direcotr Josh Whitman said in a release. “Our intent is to play a major non-conference opponent at Soldier Field once every four years. Our team and fans enjoyed the game against Washington in 2013. It is important to maintain exposure in Chicago, and this also allows our fans and student-athletes an opportunity to experience Soldier Field.”

The Illini will open up next season against Ball State.

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