- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman says the Illini will no longer play Northwestern at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Illinois in recent years has played Northwestern every other season at the stadium. The Illini gave up on-campus games against the Wildcats to gain visibility in Chicago.

Northwestern’s home dates in the series are played at its campus in Evanston. The teams will meet there Nov. 26.

Whitman said Tuesday the school prefers “rivalry games” be played in Champaign.

Illinois will instead play what he described as a “major non-conference opponent” at Soldier Field every four years.

The next game will be against South Florida in 2018.

Spokesman Kent Brown said the school’s deal with the Chicago Park District for Soldier Field does not require any financial penalty for the change.

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