Efforts to “Paint Evanston Purple” for Northwestern football last fall appear to have paid off in increased attendance at NU home games and more ticket tax revenue for the city.

Alderman Jane Grover, whose 7th Ward includes the NU’s Ryan Field stadium, says that even though the number of games at Ryan was down by one last year, because a game was moved to Wrigley Field, attendance was up dramatically — to a total of over 177,000 spectators at the stadium in 2010, compared to 145,000 in 2009.

A joint marketing effort between the university and the city helped boost attendance at the annual Evanston Day football game from 19,000 in 2009 to 30,000 in 2010, although Grover concedes that four consecutive winning seasons for the Wildcats might have had something to do with the attendance bump as well.

Evanston earned nearly $430,000 in ticket tax revenue from the football season games in 2009. Final numbers aren’t in for 2010 yet, but they could top $500,000 — even after figuring in more discount ticket sold for the Evanston Day game.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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