Northern Illinois University will celebrate the opening of its newest athletics facility Saturday, Oct. 26, prior to the NIU vs. Eastern Michigan football game.
NIU will hold an 11:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Center, the 87,000-square-foot indoor practice facility that will be used by all Huskie student-athletes.
The public is invited to gather in the Yordon Family Huskie Pride Plaza, located on the east side of the Chessick Practice Center, for the ribbon-cutting. In addition to brief speeches by university officials and lead donor Dr. Kenneth Chessick, the statue of three heroic-sized huskies will be unveiled.
Fans who previously purchased a brick as part of the Legacy Brick Campaign, can find their bricks, which will be a permanent part of the main entrance to the facility. Fans who wish to purchase a brick can now do so as NIU will re-open the Legacy Brick Campaign (see below).
Following the program, fans can walk through the Barsema Hall of Champions and onto the turf of the Chessick Practice Center between noon and 2 p.m. NIU Athletics officials and student-athletes will be on hand to answer questions. The building will be closed at 2 p.m. and there will not be any access to the Yordon Center.
Tickets to the NIU-Eastern Michigan are on sale now. Single game tickets are priced at $15, $24 or $30 (depending on seat locations) for the general public and are $15, $18 and $20 for senior citizens or youth. Tailgating lots will open at 9:30 a.m. and the pregame concert in the tent on the west side of Huskie Stadium features local country band Destination Unknown. Food and beverages are available for purchase in the tent, and admission is free with a football game ticket.
NIU held the groundbreaking ceremony April 12, 2012, for the Chessick Practice Center; construction on the six-story structure began in October of 2012. Naming donors Dr. Kenneth and Ellen Chessick made their gift in September 2011 and private fundraising, spurred by 29 leadership donor gifts, reached the $9.5 million dollar goal over the summer.
The Chessick Center features a full-size 120-yard practice field with two end zones and buffer space around the field. In addition, features like batting cages, long jump pits and a four-lane sprint track ensure that the facility can and will be used by student-athletes from all sports.
NIU announced Thursday that it is re-opening the Legacy Brick Campaign, enabling more fans to become a permanent part of Huskie Athletics on the Northern Illinois University campus. Huskie fans and supporters who did not have an opportunity to purchase bricks prior to construction can now do so online from now through April 30, 2014.
Thousands of guests, not to mention generations of future Huskie students and student-athletes, will pass by the legacy bricks as they become a permanent part of the “gateway” to the home of NIU Athletics.
Fans can choose to purchase legacy bricks for themselves, family members, friends, businesses or in memory of someone special to them with a unique message engraved on each brick. Each brick option comes with a complimentary keepsake replica and an individually numbered “Certificate of Ownership.”
Replicas are made of the same material as the installed brick, and are inscribed with the same personal message as the brick at the Huskie Pride Plaza. A small plaque commemorating the contribution to the NIU Huskies Legacy Brick Campaign will also be included. Fans buying the brick for someone else may purchase gift certificates for bricks, allowing recipients to create their own personal message on their legacy brick.
- 4”x 8” brick with replica includes 1-3 lines of text — $200* (additional replicas $55)
- 8”x 8” brick with replica includes 1-6 lines of text — $400* (additional replicas $80)
- 8”x 8” Huskie Logo brick with replica includes 1-4 lines of text — $500* (additional replicas $95)
* Price includes shipping replicas to a home or office within the contiguous U.S., excluding Hawaii and Arkansas.
To place an order, visit NIUHuskies.com/fanbricks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or call 855-NIU-FANS (855-648-3267) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday. Visit the NIU Huskies Legacy Brick Campaign website to see the virtual Chessick Practice Center brick where fans can enter their personal message to see how it will appear on the brick.
For more information on NIU Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.