Wrigley Field Final Touches Applied for Northwestern-Purdue (Photos)

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The Wildcats Classic (game preview and prediction here) is now hours, not days, away and Friday brought a chance for the media to come out on see the finishing touches on the Friendly Confines layout and playing surface.

Overall, it looks absolutely beautiful, just transcendent! However, as we covered during our preview podcast, you still have come cramped corners of the end zones, as space remains tight. No, it’s not as bad as the 2010 loss to Illinois, where both teams had to drive towards the same end zone, but it still doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.

Once again, it’s the east end zone that’s the issue, especially with the north corner, and the areas closest to it. The west end zone is a little tight on the northern edge as well. That’s the issue with playing football games in baseball stadiums- it just doesn’t fit.

This bowl season will see four college football games played in baseball stadiums, and one has to wonder if this novelty trend is here to stay or not.

“It’s cool to bring it to Friendly Confines, I don’t think it’s going to be too friendly tomorrow, but it’s still 52 1/2 by 100 (yards, width by length),” said Northwestern team captain and nose tackle Joe Spivak.

 

“It’s still gonna be violent, and it’s gonna be fun.”

1060 W. Addison has undergone a major facelift since the 2010 game, once that actually attracted ESPN College Gameday. The BTN’s version of that show will originate from centerfield tomorrow, in the shadow of the scoreboard.

And that scoreboard will, once again, show the out of town Big Ten scores, and that’s a really nice added touch.

Northwestern will be staying in a hotel downtown tonight, instead of in their usual Evanston hotel for home games. In 2010, there was a plan for the team to come down together on the L (the local mass transit train) from Evanston, but that plan was understandably and rightfully scrapped.

“We were laughing about that earlier this week, we were talking about in one of our leadership meetings,” Spivak said.

“We’re like it’s pretty gritty but I don’t think we should do it; it was a pretty far fetched idea.”

Enjoy these photos! Scroll through each social media posting for more. Northwestern will be wearing all black, and the kickoff forecast is 43 and cloudy.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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