Northwestern University Thursday afternoon released results of a public opinion survey that says most Evanstonians favor the Ryan Field rebuild project — including holding concerts at the new stadium.

The survey, conducted for the school by Impact Research, showed 56% of Evanstonians, when initially asked, supported the rebuild, while only 29% were against it.

After the researchers providing additional information about the project, the support level increased to 63%

The researchers say 64% of respondents favored hosting a dozen concerts a year at the new field. Cutting the concert count to 10 raised support to 69% and reducing the count to eight raised the share of supporters to 74%.

The researchers say residents living within a mile of the stadium were almost equally supportive of the project, compared to residents elsewhere in the city.

The poll was conducted Jan. 13-17 surveyed 500 residents across the city’s nine wards. The margin of error for that sample size is +/- 4.5 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence. Three quarters of the interviews were conducted by cell phone.

More details of the survey results are available online. (.pdf)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Funny how no one is surveying the other half of residents who directly border the Ryan Field complex– in Wilmette. Most of those homes were there before the stadium was built. The traffic, parking and infrastructure problems caused in Wilmette are just as real.

    But somehow the opinions of people who live in neighborhoods distant from Ryan Field count more.

  2. Once again, we are seeing Northwestern put a spin on everything they do so they can benefit. I didn’t get a phone call and nor did any of my neighbors within 500 feet of the stadium. Do we need to ask City Council to do a survey? Thanks to Alderperson Revelle, there will be an independent study done on the economic impact of this project. Please know, the rebuilding of the stadium is not an issue. Changing the zoning for mega concerts is!

    1. You move into a house 500 feet away from a big 10 football stadium, and then complain if it is used more than 6 times a year. Obviously you made a mistake.

      Northwestern was here before Evanston. It provides nearly unlimited access to Evanstonians as well as help with education in its public schools. Personal mistakes can be undone, but don’t make folks who live 4000 feet away from the stadium pay for it. Northwestern is a great neighbor — stadium and all.

  3. To date, the majority of Evanston residents indicate support for the Northwestern stadium plans. An informal poll in Evanston Now indicates this. A professional, independent poll indicates this. Soon, a petition signed by thousands of Evanston residents indicates this. The head of the local NAACP has come out in favor. The Downtown Evanston Association has come out in favor. I am tired of hearing from a minority in Evanston opposed to the stadium plans that everyone in support is wrong or the data must not be accurate. Enough!

  4. NU really has it’s spin doctors out on this. I can say with certainty that people living within a mile of the stadium definitely do not want 12 concerts/events. NU has tried to add events twice since we have lived here, and the residents and city fought it both times. But the city council now consists of many alderman only motivated by $’s to the city, and sucking up to this institution that has a 16 billion dollar endowment, and claims it needs 12 events to break even on the upkeep of the new stadium. Btw, they recently had a $6 billion dollar capital campaign, and the cost of this stadium is $850 million (a good portion committed by the Ryan family). They clearly have enough for the stadium and upkeep without 12 concerts. Don’t even get me started on the city allowing alcohol sales there as well. At one of the last basketball games, I looked out my window and saw several people defecating in the alley next to my home, and garbage all over the alley after the game.

    Between football games, basketball games and graduations (high school & college, and those are the worst of all events), parking is awful already. Add 12 concerts and the neighborhood will explode, become another Wrigleyville. According to the article NU says 64 percent of Evanston residents want the 12 concerts (and the percentage holds true for those within a mile of the stadium). BS! Those neighbors who live within a mile of this mess will be at the city council meeting en masse. Expect a fight!

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