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Northwestern to (finally) break ground on lakefront football facility

At long last, Northwestern is getting its lakefront football facility.

Nearly three years after it was first announced, the Wildcats will break ground a week from today on a facility that will vault the Wildcats to the front of the line in the Big Ten arms race.

From the school's official release:
The Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex will include a fieldhouse that will provide a large, indoor multipurpose facility for football practice as well as Olympic sports team practices and competitions, recreational activities and non-sporting events. It will be named Ryan Fieldhouse in honor of the generosity of alumni Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan. The playing surface within Ryan Fieldhouse will be named Wilson Field in honor of a $15 million gift from alumni Stephen R. and Susan K. Wilson. 

The complex also will include the Walter Athletics Center, a state-of-the-art facility that will house academic support services for more than 500 student-athletes, a nutrition center and dining facility, a sports performance center, and office space for coaches and administrators. The building is being named in recognition of a $40 million gift from alumni Mark and Kimbra Walter.

“Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center will provide the finest support, training and developmental facilities for Northwestern student-athletes in an incomparable location," athletics director Jim Phillips said in a statement. "This transformational facility will seamlessly integrate athletics into the heart of campus, offer new recreational opportunities for Northwestern students, faculty and staff and enhance the use of the lakefront by the entire Evanston community. We are tremendously excited to begin construction and realize this vision.”