Northern Illinois football’s return to Soldier Field has been put on hold.
The university announced Wednesday that the NIU-Nebraska football game scheduled for Sept. 24, 2016, at Soldier Field has been canceled and the original three-game series between the two teams now has been extended to four games.
NIU will play Nebraska at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln in 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023.
The university said changes to the Big Ten Conference schedule have forced the two programs to make adjustments to the original three-game series that was finalized in December.
“The Big Ten schedule necessitated these changes, and we are happy that the Cornhuskers will remain on the Huskie football schedule going forward with the addition of the 2021 and 2023 games to the 2017 and 2019 contests,” deputy athletic director Christian Spears said. “We have reached out and are actively working on returning to Soldier Field against a quality opponent in the future.”
The series between the two teams will begin Sept. 16, 2017, when the Huskies travel to Lincoln for the third time in school history. The two teams last met in 1990. Other dates set are Sept. 14, 2019; Sept. 4, 2021; and Sept. 16, 2023.
Originally, the series between NIU and Nebraska consisted of three games, beginning with an NIU home game with the Cornhuskers on Sept. 24, 2016, at Soldier Field, with games in Lincoln to follow in 2017 and 2019.
NIU has played at Soldier Field three times in the past six seasons. The Huskies lost to Iowa, 18-17, to begin the 2012 season and played Wisconsin in 2011, losing, 49-7. NIU also played Iowa in the 2007 season opener, falling, 16-3.