By JOHN SAHLY - jsahly@daily-chronicle.com

NIU closer to meeting Iowa at Soldier Field

Nothing is official, but steps have been taken to produce a game between Northern Illinois and Iowa at Soldier Field on Aug. 31, 2012.

At this past Thursday's meeting of NIU's board of trustees, an agenda item under the quarterly summary report of transactions in excess of $100,000 for the period of July 1 to Sept. 30 details that NIU purchased a special-event license agreement costing $242,500 to rent Soldier Field "for Northern Illinois to play a 'home' football game (NIU vs. Iowa) in Solder Field on August 31, 2012."

NIU sports information director Donna Turner confirmed the rental and said that in order to get the game, NIU first had to get on the Soldier Field calendar. Although NIU and Iowa have yet to come to a formal agreement regarding the game, the two sides are talking.

This would be the second game between NIU and Iowa at Soldier Field. The two teams met on Sept. 1, 2007, with the Hawkeyes winning, 16-3.

It also would be the third game for the Huskies at Soldier Field. NIU will play Wisconsin in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2011, which was announced last year. The information book from the board of trustees meeting lists the cost of renting Soldier Field for that game at $236,500.

Bowl tickets: In a change from years past that might make a major impact on expenses, Northern Illinois will not have to buy its allotment of tickets for this year's International Bowl. Whatever amount of revenue NIU can generate from selling its 10,000 ticket allotment, it gets to keep.

For last year's Independence Bowl, NIU had to buy a 12,000 ticket allotment, which cost $420,620. It was allowed to keep the revenue from tickets sold, which ended up being about 2,000. That resulted in $38,880 for the school but didn't do a lot to alleviate the expense of the tickets it had to buy first.

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