• Follow us on Twitter @buckeyeplanet and @bp_recruiting, like us on Facebook! Enjoy a post or article, recommend it to others! BP is only as strong as its community, and we only promote by word of mouth, so share away!
  • Consider registering! Fewer and higher quality ads, no emails you don't want, access to all the forums, download game torrents, private messages, polls, Sportsbook, etc. Even if you just want to lurk, there are a lot of good reasons to register!


Advice for any Buckeye's visiting Evanston this weekend -

This was written by a pal of mine, AstroCat. I hope you find it of use.


Start post -

If you have never been to Evanston before, the following may be helpful to you. Evanston is a safe, family-friendly town in which to see a football game. On football weekends, you can usually find small groups of fans from other Big Ten schools roaming around, decked out in their team colors. The local residents and people who work in Evanston are not into college football (outside of alumni and friends of the school), so no one will bother you for wearing your colors. In fact, many locals may not even know why you are wearing red, or green, or blue, or whatever. Remember, this is the Chicago area, and life here does not revolve around Northwestern football (it does revolve around Chicago Bears, Cubs, Sox, and Bulls).

Evanston is perched on the shores of Lake Michigan. It serves as a buffer zone between the city of Chicago to the south and the affluent suburbs to the north shore. It has some aspects of a big city and some aspects of a suburb. Like a big city, strangers will come up to you and ask you for money. Try to take this in stride and either ignore them or give them a dollar.

The Layout:

The three areas that will be of interest to you are the campus, the stadium, and the downtown area. For street maps, try either Yahoo maps or Mapquest and enter the following addresses:

For a map of the streets near the campus:
2200 Sheridan
Evanston, IL

For a map of Evanston's downtown:
1700 Sherman
Evanston, IL

For a map of the stadium area:
1501 Central
Evanston, IL

For detailed information on parking and a local map in PDF format, try


then click on "Complete Version"

For general directions to Evanston, try


The campus, by the way, is beautiful. It is right on Lake Michigan and has a scenic walking path near the lake. I highly recommend walking the campus after the game and ending your walk with an ice cream cone or snack at Norris University Center. Anyone on campus can give you directions to Norris.

The football stadium is named Ryan Field, but locals still call it Dyche Stadium. The stadium is NOT on the campus. It is about one mile north and west of the campus. There is no parking at the stadium, so don't even try. Only long time season ticket-holders can purchase the highly-coveted stadium parking passes. While a few local businesses along Central street rent out their lots for game day parking, it is usually better to park on campus or in the large public garage in downtown Evanston. Shuttle busses will take you to the stadium. The PDF file mentioned above shows the location of the lots. There are also some private lots on Green Bay roads, north of the stadium.

The shuttle busses from downtown Evanston to the stadium are reliable, provided you use them at least 75 minutes prior to kickoff. If you try to use them within an hour of kickoff, you may find that the busses are already full before they get to your stop (although this varies depending on which stop you use and how crowded the game is). From downtown Evanston, you can walk to the stadium in about 30 minutes by walking west to Ridge Avenue, then north to Central, then west on Central to the stadium.

There is tailgating at the stadium for those few who have parking passes. Most of it occurs in the west lot, but the east side has its fair share. For people without parking passes, tailgating occurs in the campus lots and a few other locations.

While it possible to find street parking in the residential areas around the stadium, it is probably not worth the effort unless you know the area well. Evanston has several one-way streets and dead end streets, and most of the streets adjacent to the stadium don't allow parking on game days.

Other ways to get from downtown Evanston to the stadium include taxis (especially Norshore Cab which seems to have taxis stationed in Evanston all the time, 847-864-7500) and the CTA trains (board at Davis Street downtown, go North and get off at Central).


There are a few hotels located in downtown Evanston. The Best Western (formerly a Holiday Inn), is on Sherman, a few blocks south of Church. It is across the street from Tommy Nevin's bar, a popular local and student hangout.

The Hilton Garden is located on Maple, which is two blocks west of Sherman. The huge public parking garage and the new movie theatres are nearby. The Saturday morning Farmer's Market is just behind the Hilton Garden (in case you want to buy flowers for the game).

With the Orrington closed, hotel space is extremely limited in Evanston. Skokie has several hotels, many of which are within a ten minute drive of the stadium. Another possibility is staying at a bed-and-breakfast in Evanston.

There is also a Marriott called, appropriately, the "Purple Hotel" in nearby Lincolnwood that is popular with visiting fans. It usually has the best deals and there is a sports and cigar bar downstairs and a heated swimming pool. You will have to take a cab to the game though as the hotel isn't near any public transportation (see below for more about getting to the game).



There is only one bar near the stadium. Most of the bars are in the downtown Evanston area, which is a good reason to park there. Unfortunately, none of establishments in Evanston can be classified as a true sports bar, and I can honestly say that I don't know of any Evanston bar that could be referred to as Wildcat Central. Evanston is a city that desperately needs a good sports bar, and this omission is deeply embarrassing to us. Most of the bars listed below serve food, so they are usually open for lunch. I'm not sure if any of them open much earlier than 11:00 AM.

Tommy Nevin's
On Sherman, a few blocks south of Church and across the street from the Best Western hotel. This is an Irish bar with wood floors and benches. It also has a full service restaurant. Both the bar and the restaurant have some outside seating in warm weather.

Bar Louie
One of the Bar Louie chain. This one is on Sherman a half block north of Tommy Nevin's.

The Keg
On Grove, right next to Bar Louie. This is more of a student hangout. It has a few screens for watching sports, and late at night they open up a small dance area that seems popular with students.

The 1800 Club
Located on the north side of the office building at the intersection Sherman and Clark (one block north of Church). This is a smallish bar with a nice atmosphere in the evening. Many students and grad students show up there late in the evening.

Pete Millers
On Sherman, a block north of Tommy Nevin's. This is a high quality steakhouse with two nice bars and several pool tables. They often have live jazz in the evenings, especially weekend evenings.

Bill's Blues Bar
On Davis, three blocks west of Sherman. This is a real blues bar with live music every evening. They usually have a cover charge of $5 to $10. Go here for the music, not for sports.

Rhythm Room
This is a bar located in the upper lobby of the Century Theatre on Maple Ave. They have one large screen. It is more a place for pleasant cocktails than a place to talk sports.

This is one of the few establishments near the stadium. It is a half-mile away from Ryan Field. It is on Central, west of the stadium, just west of Green Bay Rd on the south side of the street. Full service restaurant and bar and enough flat screens TVs for a reasonable view of the games.


Within the downtown area are many restaurants (perhaps 50 or more), including a lot of ethnic ones. You can pretty much walk to any of them. There are simply too many to list here.

Restaurants with full bars:

Merle's Rib Palace
On Benson, half block north of Church. Land of BBQ in the form of ribs and pulled meat sandwiches. They have full bar, too, so feel free to stop in for drink.

Wolfgang Puck's
On the intersection of Church and Maple. The food is good and it has a nice bar area, with ample seating in the bar area.

Prairie Moon:
On Sherman, one block north of Nevin's. American style restaurant with full bar. The ticket stub sometimes has a coupon on the back for this restaurant.

On Maple, a half block north of the Century movie theatres (and across the street from the large parking garage). One of the chain, includes a bar.

On Chicago Avenue, just south of Church -- a classy, but not too expensive, place for Italian food. The bar is mostly for people waiting for seating. Not TV screens anywhere, even in the bar.

Tapas Barcelona
A Spanish tapas restaurant, also on Chicago Avenue. Has a bar area, but it is mostly for people waiting for a seat. On warm evenings, there is a nice outdoor seating area.

Restaurants (all serving booze, but not necessarily with bar areas):

Dave's Italian Kitchen:
On Chicago Avenue, just south of Church. Homemade pasta with large portions and low prices.

Dixie Kitchen
On Church, just east of Benson. For those who like Cajun food.

The Pine Yard
Chinese food at the intersection of Davis and Oak.

The Phoenix Inn
An Evanston institution, succulent (and inexpensive) familiar Chinese favorites. I ALWAYS have at least one meal here when I'm in Evanston, but maybe that's because of personal memories of the establishment.

On Church, three blocks west of Sherman. Pizza -- thin, thick, and deep dish varieties.

Flat Top Grill
On Church, half a block east of Sherman. Amazing custom stir fry and interesting beer selection.

Las Palmas
Mexican, near the intersection of Benson and Emerson

Davis Street Fish Market
Located on Davis Street, two blocks east of Sherman. Land of seafood.

Stained Glass Wine Bistro
On Benson, almost a block north of Church. For those who want something more elegant (and expensive). They offer 32 wines by the glass. Nice place for late evening wine + dessert.

Breakfast Places

Le Peep
On the corner of Church and Benson. Lines may be long on weekends. See website:


On Clark, half a block east of Sherman (and slightly west of Burger King).

Walker Brothers Pancake House
On Green Bay road in Wilmette, about a mile north of Central Street. Part of a chain, but it has been at this location for decades. It's well worth the trip and I STRONGLY suggest it! Deeeeeeelicious food.


Viva Le Crepe
On Sherman, half a block south of Davis. An alternative if Le Peep is closed.

Other Food

On the corner of Emerson and Green Bay Road. Carry out ribs, chicken and other BBQ. Terrific chow. If you're staying in a nearby hotel, this is a pretty good optioin for a group who want to hang togehter and watch something on the tube while eating some good authentic BBQ. Yummy.

Mustard's Last Stand
On Central, just west of the stadium. Hot dog stand. Over the years, many famous NU athletes have eaten here. Will be open all day. Great burgers too.

Game Day!

There is an area north of stadium you should visit, it is called Wildcat Alley. They usually have free beer there, courtesy of Goose Island Brewery. Each adult can get two drink tickets just for the asking. It opens two hours before kick-off. It's just north of the big building (Welsh Ryan Arena) that is just north of the stadium. If you look thirsty, you may be able to obtain additional drink tickets by begging them from people who haven't used theirs. The band plays a concert in Wildcat Alley approximately one hour before kick-off. Usually some kid-type activities and games can be found here. Don't let the beer fool you, Wildcat Alley is a family-friendly place. By the way, beer is served in a roped off area. Once you have your beer, you are free to carry it into the rest of Wildcat Alley, you just can't carry it outside of Wildcat Alley. If you need a restroom, head into the lobby of Welsh Ryan. It is much better than the portable units near Wildcat Alley.

Be sure to walk through the stadium tailgating areas (either east or west sides) and chat with the Northwestern fans.

Enter the stadium and find your seat about 20 minutes before kickoff. If you are sitting in the areas designated for visiting fans, allow plenty of time to get to your seat. With the higher level of security, long lines can form at some of the entry gates.

The Northwestern band will take the field about 15 minutes before kickoff. They line up in the south end zone and march onto the field. Then they pause as the drum majors are introduced. At this point, the three drum majors will bend over backward so that the tops of their hats touch the ground behind them. It sounds hokey, but it's kind of neat to see. Also, check out the Wildcat statue in the south end zone. Next, the band will play the fight song and march to the north end zone to welcome the team onto the field. As everyone is waiting for the team, the large video screen will show an animation of the Wildcat statue running down the field. At some point, a miniature UPS truck will drive onto the field to deliver the game ball. Willie the Wildcat has to sign for it. (Personally, I'm tired of this particular gimmick, but UPS has been a good sponsor over the years).

The locker room for the visiting team is in the south tower of the stadium. There is a doorway in the base of the south tower through which the visiting players will pass as they enter and exit the field. The passageway allowing fans to walk from the south endzone stands to the west stands intersects the path the visiting players use, so both players and civilians share the same passageway. If you want to see the visiting team up close, go there near the end of the halftime break, just before the players return to the field. Security people are usually in this area, just ask them where you can stand to see the players as the come out. They'll let you do it.

When the game is over, you can walk back to the campus lots or to the downtown area or take public transportation (more below). I do not recommend taking the shuttles, because too many people will be trying to use them at the same time, but if you're not in a rush, you can take a shuttle.

After the game, check out the clock tower in downtown Evanston, across the street from Burger King. When it gets dark, the face of the clock will glow either white or purple. It glows purple after a Northwestern victory. It's white after a loss. It stays that color until the next game.

Some Notes on Public Transportation:

Getting to Evanston from Chicago is relatively easy using either CTA trains or Metra trains. Both lines have stops at Davis street (i.e. downtown Evanston) and at Central street (for the stadium).

The CTA trains (also known as "El trains" or "L trains") are elevated, electric-powered trains that run frequently and have many stops. It is relatively easy to take an El train to the game, but coming back after the game you may have to wait in a long line to get on a train. The various lines are named after colors. From anywhere in Chicago, head for the Red Line and take it all the way north. It ends at Howard Street, where you transfer to the Purple Line and continue on to Central Street to get to the stadium (or Davis St. to visit downtown Evanston). You will see the stadium from the Central Street platform, it's right there. Transferring from the Red Line to the Purple Line is easy and costs nothing extra. You get out of your Red Line car and walk to the other side of the platform and get on a Purple Line car (or wait a few minutes for the next Purple Line train to arrive). Avoid the Yellow Line, which takes you to Skokie.

SAFETY NOTE - I have taken the El over 100 times and never had a problem, but one hears stories. If riding late at night (after 11pm or so), I wouldn't ride the El drunk or alone. Stay alert, but again, I have never had any problems and I've ridden it at all hours of the day (and night).

If you are staying in a downtown Chicago or Evanston, the hotel desk should be able to guide you to the nearest Red Line station. Once you arrive at a station, you will find vending machines that issue CTA cards with magnetic stripes. You have to put in $5 to get a new card, which is more than enough for a round trip from Chicago to Evanston.

Metra trains are diesel trains that run according to a fixed scheduled and only stop in a few locations. On weekends, hourly service is the best you can expect. If you're coming from downtown Chicago and you're not too far from the main Metra station (the Madison Street station), this may be the fastest way to get to the game. The stadium is on Central Street and the stop is named that as well. There may be no convenient train AFTER the game, though, so don't purchase roundtrip tickets as you may end up taking the el to get back to Chicago.

Have a safe and pleasant trip.

Evanston hotel advice if you don't have reservations

While I mentioned this in my post down below, I have since read that all the nearby hotels are sold out for the game apart from this one - link -


There are two problems with the hotel.

* One is it is SLIGHTLY "worn around the edges" (at least it was last year when I stayed there) so it's not "world class". It's not seedy or anything like that, but let's just say it could use a small "spruce up". Last renovation must have been 10 years ago.

* The other is that it's not near "anything" (per-se). You need a car or taxi to get to the game or downtown Evanston.


* They re-did the rooms last year and they are in good shape.

* Lotsa cable channels.

* There is a lot to do at the hotel (for a hotel), a fancy steakhouse, a cheaper diner, a sports bar, a cigar bar, a pool and sauna. Should have a few Buckeye's there too (just a guess of course). The sports bar is fun.

* There is a huge mall acroos the street if the "wimmenfolk" want to shop amd/or browse.

* Evanston and the stadium are only 10 minutes away by car (if that) or taxi (which should cost you about seven bucks IIRC).

I am NOT advertising this hotel, just mentioning it as an option if you decide to go to the game late (as in...today, or later) and get shut out of other hotels. From what I gather, some convention is going on in downtown Chicago and the Evanston places are full for the game already. This is according to a post on one of our the other message boards.

Take it or leave it, just telling you about another lodging option so you don't end up staying out by the airport or something (ugh).

Last edited:
Upvote 0
Nice Post, Good Info.

I, along with many other Bucks fans will be there as well. For anybody making the roadie who plans on Tailgating take a look at the parking map on astros Link


If you look at parking Lots 1 and 2 they are off of Sheridan and Lincoln, and free. They will be packed with Buckeye fans. There is always some room to park, and the atmosphere is similar to a home game. I am not sure exactly where in the lot we will be, but if you walk around saying " BuckNasty I'm callin out yo Cracka ass" I will acknowledge.

"BuckNasty 3 time Runner up Playa hater of the year"
Upvote 0

Thanks for the kind sentiments. I hope the information is helpful. I don't know what a NU button is but if I can get one, I'll take it.

I hope you enjoy your time in Evanston this weekend if you go.

I hope you DON'T enjoy the final score (heh-heh).

Thanks again.

Upvote 0
Free NW Tickets Drawing

Over on BN for anyone interested

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="95%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD bgColor=#000000><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=5 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=headings vAlign=top bgColor=#eeeeee>Author </TD><TD class=headings vAlign=top bgColor=#eeeeee>Comment </TD></TR><TR bgColor=#cccccc><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=left width="20%">Bucknuts

Posts: 2706
(9/28/04 12:12:31 pm)
</TD><TD class=m vAlign=top align=left>
Win FREE tickets to this weekend's game (Read on) <HR SIZE=1>Are you looking for two Northwestern tickets? If so, respond to this thread. We have two free ones we are going to give away to someone who wants to go.

Respond and we will select at random a winner.
Upvote 0