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Wrigley Field Football Debacle: Only One End Zone Used

By Laura Strachan, Esq. on November 23, 2010 11:49 AM

Football played in a baseball stadium may not be such a good idea, after all. Wrigley Field recently played host to the University of Illinois and Northwestern. Unfortunately, the hosting duties fumbled a bit when the field failed to meet NCAA requirements.

The result? One end zone. Yes, one end zone for a football game was the solution used by the Big Ten and the two schools. This game marked the first (and possibly the last) time Wrigley Field hosted a football game since 1938.

The problem was simple. There was not enough room on the east side end zone between the hard brick wall and the back line of the end zone. In addition to concerns that there would be inadequate victory dances and other large-scale touchdown celebrations, there was increased potential for injury. So the game, not matter which team had the ball, was played towards the "more spacious" west side end zone.

Another problem posted by the Wrigley Field football game had to do with the fans. Specifically, many fans that had once coveted end zone seats now had a three hour view of their favorite players backs, according to Time.

Assumption of risk is the legal concept that is frequently applied to sports. The basic notion is that a player assumes the risks inherent in the game. This was most certainly a concern on the part of the NCAA when they looked at the increased injury potential in the end zone. And since the end zone was in complete compliance with regulations, it may also be classified as a risk the players did not assume. Regardless, Illinois can't be too disappointed with the unorthodox configuration, as the Illini beat their cross-town rival 48-27.

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