The iconic Wrigley Field marquee will be Wildcat Purple for a week as the Chicago Cubs prepare to host a historic Northwestern-Illinois football game this Saturday.
Of course, this being the Cubs, there are some commecial considerations involved. First, the team brought in a paint sponsor — Valspar — to sponsor the Wildcat Purple paint. Then the team has a ceremonial first-paintstroke event, replete with a host of dignitaries: Cubs Board Member Laura Ricketts, Allstate Midwest Region Field Vice President Alice Byrne, Valspar Senior Vice President Global Consumer Division Howard Heckes, and Northwestern Director of Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips were all on hand at Wrigley Field today to apply the first strokes of purple paint to the marquee. Of course, the Cubs did sell naming rights to the game: it’s the Allstate Wrigleyville Classic.
Nothing, it seems, is ever very simple at the Friendly Confines.
Some background: The Wrigley Field marquee was created by the Federated Sign Company and was a blue-green color when it was installed for the 1934 season. It remained that color until it was painted red in the mid-1960s. The bottom panel was added to the marquee in the early 1980s and originally featured Budweiser advertising.
The Allstate Wrigleyville Classic will be the first time in more than 87 years that Northwestern University and the University of Illinois have faced off at Wrigley Field, and the first time in nearly 40 years that a football game has been played at the Friendly Confines. The contest matches up the long-time rivals at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20.
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