Coaches and administrators will still travel to Chicago next Wednesday as part of the Fighting Illini Caravan.
Just not at World of Beer in Evanston.
The bar canceled the event on Wednesday, UI assistant athletic director Kent Brown said. Located near Big Ten rival Northwestern’s campus, World of Beer had received backlash from Wildcats supporters for agreeing to host an Illinois function.
So Illinois will take its act to a downtown site which likely will be announced today.
“Downtown Chicago is not a bad place to have it at all,” Brown said. “Some of our most loyal supporters work down there.”
The UI contingent is expected to include athletic director Mike Thomas, basketball coaches John Groce and Matt Bollant, and football coach Tim Beckman among others.
World of Beer officials did not return phone calls. In correspondence with Inside Northwestern, a Wildcats-related blog, a bar spokesman wrote “We thought this event is just a private party for U of I. We didn’t realize the nature of the event is against NU. We have called U of I and informed them we cannot host this event. We are 100% support Northwestern University.”