1. NCAA Final Four
Although Northwestern has never been to the NCAA Tournament, Welsh-Ryan Arena did host 1956 Final Four. A record crowd of 10,653 came out to see San Francisco defeat Iowa 83-71, so enjoy the fact you’re seeing a game at a Final Four venue when attending a Wildcats game.
2. Willie the Wildcat
Willie the Wildcat has been the official Northwestern mascot since 1933 and made his first real life appearance in 1947. Northwestern fans young and old love Willie’s cheers and taunts, so keep an eye for him at the game.
3. Pep Band
Northwestern’s pep band, provides excellent in-game entertainment with a broad range of music. The pep band does an outstanding job of creating a fun atmosphere and keeps everyone in the game, so make sure to enjoy their musical stylings when attending a Wildcats game.
Inside Welsh-Ryan Arena, you’ll see banners hanging from the rafters honoring all of the best teams in Northwestern athletics history. The banners show off the women’s lacrosse team’s seven national championships as well as all of the Wildcats conference championships in various sports, so make sure to check them out.
5. Northwestern Cheer Team
The Northwestern Cheer Team pumps up the crowd with cheers and chants during the game. Come prepared to get loud when attending a Wildcats basketball game.
6. Wildcat Growl/Claw
When attending a Northwestern game make sure to join in the Wildcat Growl. During the Growl, fans hold up their arm in a claw formation while creating as much noise as possible to distract the opponent. It’s great fun and an excellent way to intimidate the opposition as well.
7. Northwestern-Illinois Rivalry
An in-state rivalry between Northwestern and Illinois has blossomed over the years due to the proximity of the two schools. The facts both Illinois schools are so close to each other means you’ll encounter many fans of both teams at this matchup, which creates a fun and intense atmosphere. Don’t miss it when the Illini come to Welsh-Ryan, if you want to see the arena at its best.