Ever since Northwestern announced it was building Hutcheson Field and the Ryan Fieldhouse, it felt like a game changer for the program.
Northwestern’s facilities, located near Ryan Field about 3/4 of a mile off campus, were outdated. The team, already seemingly struggling to compete on the field for recruits and with the typical disadvantages Northwestern imposes on itself, was a step behind everyone.
That is no longer the case. Or, at least, it will not be once Ryan Fieldhouse is completed in the spring and Northwestern officially moves into its new digs.
The Wildcats have held occasional practices on their new on-campus practice field at Hutcheson Field. This year, it appears Northwestern is moving more permanently on campus for practices and for training camp.
And they are spending a good chunk of this training camp showing off their lakeside location. It might also help to play some football and get ready for the 2017 season.
Are you kidding me with this view? These new Northwestern facilities were done right: pic.twitter.com/7x0JGtM3VK
— Alex Roux (@arouxBTN) August 23, 2017
BTN’s tour of the conference’s schools reached Evanston. They were blown away by the facilities coming out of the ground. Particularly that view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline from the practice field.
The facilities are not yet finished. The team, again, will not move in until the spring. But it looks like the facilities are indeed going to be the big boost to the program that Pat Fitzgerald and everyone says they will be.
That all looks impressive. And Northwestern is looking forward to using it as a recruiting tool as much as a tool to make their players better.
The convenience of being on campus is more than enough. But the other amenities seem only to add to what the program can provide and do.
Northwestern has improved the team’s recruiting and its standing in national circles in the last few years. The opening of the new facility will only add to it. Especially as Northwestern finds consistency on the field.
That is the piece of the puzzle the team is looking for this year. The hope is Northwestern will compete for the Big Ten West title. With that and opening up the new facility, it would put Northwestern on some solid footing for the program moving forward.
Things are looking good in Evanston.