We are a grassroots group, made up of neighbors, business owners, former elected officials, faith leaders, and other Evanstonians who love living in this vibrant city, recognized by the National Civic League as an All-America City in 2021. We are one of the most livable cities in the country because we continue to be open to new ways of doing things.
According to a recent survey conducted by President Biden's pollster,we're not alone. Themajority of residentssupport the new Ryan Field, which offers opportunities for everyone in Evanston.
We live in Evanston, in part, because it's home to a world-class university that enriches Evanston economically, socially, and culturally. We believe the relationship between Northwestern and Evanston is symbiotic. When one of us thrives, both of us thrive. When one of us suffers, both of us suffer.
We care about the environment and don't want to see the University spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a stadium that they only use for six or seven football games a year; that’s a waste. We want to see the new, remarkable, LEED Gold-certified, and ADA-accessible facility used year-round for a reasonable number of non-athletic events, including concerts. Nearly 70% of Evanstonians agree with us that Ryan Field could host up to 10 concerts. We support the rezoning of Ryan Field and Welsh Ryan Arena to allow for music, other events, and responsible alcohol use.
We expect Northwestern to be transparent and honest with their intentions, responsive to legitimate neighbor concerns, and committed to the City's long-term viability. This means an increased and extended financial commitment to the City, as well as subcontracting 35% or more of the construction project to local, minority- and women-owned businesses and providing preferential consideration to similar Evanston-based businesses for the ongoing operations of the stadium. We intend to hold Northwestern accountable to its promises.
We believe City officials should gauge what’s best for the entire community, especially those who cannot afford to stay in their homes due to tax hikes and those who need access to good-paying jobs and a career path in the trades. There has to be a collaboration that’s driven by what’s best for all, not what’s best for a few.
We trust that our City Manager and Mayor will do their best to negotiate terms that are in the best interest of our City.
We enthusiastically support this once-in-a-lifetime project and believe it will create an economically stronger Evanston that is more vibrant, beautiful, and fun.