CHICAGO — For the first time since 2019, a Chicago football tradition is returning to Soldier Field just in time for a major milestone.
The Chicago Football Classic is coming back on Saturday, September 2, featuring a match-up of two historically black colleges and universities as it has since its inception in 1997.
“It’s kind of a milestone for us,” said co-found Larry Huggins of the event, which has declared this year as the 25th-anniversary celebration. “One of the things that I’ve always said and I will continue to say is that we’re building a legacy.”
In 2023, it will continue with the contest between Central State University and Mississippi Valley State University taking to the turf at Soldier Field for the game itself.
Yet the event itself is so much more than that, as the contest is the culmination of a week of events along with a more important effort for its co-founders: Huggins, Everett & Tim Rand.
That’s awarding scholarships to Chicago area students to HBCUs around the country, which the event has done since its inception. In 2023, over $250,000 in scholarships will be awarded in conjunction with the Chicago Football Classic.
“The words just can’t express how important it is,” said Huggins of the scholarships.
As for the week itself, it begins with the Chicago Greek Step Classic on Thursday with a golf outing and coaches luncheon coming on Friday along with an official pep rally. Saturday featured the College Fair and Empowerment Summit that morning along with a vendor marketplace during the day.
A “Battle of the High School Bands” will take place on the Great Lawn outside Soldier Field prior to the game that afternoon.
“All we have heard since we announced we are doing this game is ‘I am so glad you guys are bringing this game back,'” said Huggins. “At the end of the day, it becomes a legacy for myself, and Tim and Everett.
“The fact that what we started 25 years ago will actually become an institution in this great city of ours.”
WGN News Now’s Larry Hawley featured the return of the Chicago Football Classic in 2023 and you can watch that in the video above.