Letter to the editor: Northwestern ignores Ryan Field project’s impact on residents and environment



As revealed at a hastily scheduled City Council meeting on Oct. 30, the city of Northwestern is trying to push through a flimsy proposal to rebuild Ryan Field to host concerts as well as sporting events. They are pushing ahead with this proposal with no regard for the environmental impact on the residents of our community, our canals and the natural environment we cherish. The proposal has so far bypassed the Planning Commission, a credible environmental impact study, and a formal design review process.

Construction of Ryan Field’s new stadium, with the addition of large-scale live concerts, poses a very serious threat to the physical and mental health of Ward 7’s neighbors, the broader community, and healthcare workers and their patients. is. at North Shore University Health Center. We understand from a statement by David Gold (Inside NU Editor) on August 18, 2023 that the concert will take place in the evening. The negative effects on our physical and mental health include sleep deprivation associated with noise intolerance, lack of concentration, headaches, various cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, and even his COPD and asthma. Includes respiratory problems.

I believe in practicing empathy and consideration for our neighbors. The population of my small building is mirrored by the surrounding area of ​​Ryan Field and the broader community. We also have families with infants, toddlers, and older children. There are health care workers who are exhausted from work and need nothing more than peace and quiet. There are many seniors here as well. Some family members may be in caregiver mode, caring for a relative with a life-threatening illness.

The commotion and noise associated with demolition, construction, and ultimately the concert will harm both health care workers and patients at the very large North Shore University Health System, which consists of a regional Level 1 trauma center and a state-of-the-art emergency department. will have a serious negative impact on Evanston Hospital, Women’s Hospital, and Kellogg Cancer Center are all within 0.5 miles (1,500 feet) of Ryan Field. Fire Station No. 4 is located between Ryan Field and the hospital. Fire Station No. 5 is located less than a mile west of Ryan Field. the number of scheduled concerts, including traffic flow associated with stadium demolition and reconstruction, the labor-intensive construction and teardown of concert stages, and the time required to clean up debris and trash left behind by concerts; Attendance could cause severe crowding, compromising the urgency needed for fire departments, paramedics, and additional medical staff responding to 911 calls throughout the region.

Under Northwestern’s “We Will” campaign, the average construction time for the Bienen Music Complex, Kellogg Global Hub, Segal Visitor Center, and Ryan Fieldhouse was approximately 3.5 years. The noise and exhaust fumes from the many diesel trucks for demolition, construction, and the eventual concert will not only be unpleasant, but will be a serious health concern. Research by the NIH and other reputable medical research organizations has shown that diesel exhaust fumes are widely known to be carcinogenic to people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

According to Alex Harrison at the Evanston Roundtable (Report May 15, 2023), approximately 12,000 people were expected to attend Dilo Day. A wristband was provided. Fentanyl test strips were available. A special unit was trained to administer Narcan. Excessive drinking was also a considerable concern. A group called “Student Intervention Services” was trained to respond to the situation if necessary. Security and emergency support included Northwestern Police and Luna Security. Evanston police, fire and superior ambulance services were on standby. A large number of staff were present the following day to patrol the area for extensive debris removal. The proposed mega-concert is almost triple the size and is a vastly expanded version of Diro Day. Preparation, event, final stage demolition and extensive cleaning will take several days before and after the concert. Northwestern will need a significant number of first responders, not to mention fentanyl test strips and Narcan to assist with the planned concert.

There seem to be conflicting opinions about the actual capacity of the concert. At one time that number was 35,000. Below is a small list of other stadium capacities. Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York: 25,000 seats, retractable roof. Wrigley Field: 41,000. United Center: 23,500 (with cover). Allstate Arena: 18,500 (with cover).

In 2019, the University of Wisconsin announced interior renovations to Camp Randall, home of the Wisconsin Badgers football team. Camp Randall he built in 1917. It has a capacity of 80,000 people. The renovation was completed in 2022 after the project was delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown. It features improved amenities such as premium seating areas, upgrades to ADA compliance, and food and beverage options.

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