Kinnick Stadium: The Home of the Iowa Hawkeyes
Home football weekends for the University of Iowa are more than just a Saturday afternoon football game. Fans of the Hawkeyes from all parts of the state of Iowa, the Midwest , and locations as far away as New Jersey, Florida, Arizona and Texas converge on Iowa City for an entire weekend of activities on the Iowa campus. Tailgating activities begin as the sun comes up and continue all day as Iowa fans support their Hawkeyes, usually under brilliant skies that provide the perfect setting for college football in the Heartland.
Iowa home games are played in historic Kinnick Stadium, named after 1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick. With a capacity of 70,585, Kinnick ranks as one of the 20 largest college-owned stadiums in the nation.
A $89 million renovation of Kinnick - which was voted as the best stadium in the Big Ten in 2007 and 2009 by The Sporting News - was completed in August 2006. That two-year project resulted in a long-list of amendments that improved the game-day experience for everyone from the student-athletes and coaches on the playing field to the fans in the stands. New scoreboards featuring state-of-the-art audio and video, new team locker rooms, increased concessions stands and restroom, a new press box with indoor and outdoor club seating, and private suites, and the creation of a main entrance and the construction of the Krause Family Plaza at the stadium's south were just some of the additions fans of the Hawkeyes now enjoy.
The renovation also included new "Game Day" facilities for the Hawkeyes. Located under the south grandstand, Iowa's game-day locker room, athletics training facilities and equipment room are state-of-the-art and adjacent to the facilities used for post-game interviews with the local, regional and national media who regularly attend home games of the Hawkeyes.
Another piece of the renovation was the relocation of the UI student section. That area is routinely filled by more than 10,000 students at the UI and surrounds the tunnel from which the Hawkeyes enter the playing field to "Back in Black." The UI Marching Band is also located inside the student section, immediately behind the south endzone's goal post.
The playing surface at Kinnick was changed to Field Turf prior to the 2009 season. That project included installation of a new drainage system below the playing surface which, not coincidentally, is the same surface the Hawkeyes' practice on each day at the Kenyon Practice Facility and inside "The Bubble" when weather forces the Hawkeyes indoors.
Iowa always ranks among the top 25 schools in the nation in home attendance and the 2009 season was no different. The Hawkeyes sold out all seven home games and entered the 2010 season with sellouts in 42 of its last 44 games. Iowa also entered the 2010 season with a 44-9 record at home since the 2002 season, a winning percentage of .830 that ranked 11th bes tin the nation and second in the Big Ten Conference over that period of time.
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Note: Photo of Kinnick Stadium was taken by Brian Ray of the Cedar Rapids Gazette on Oct. 2, 2010 when Iowa defeated Penn State in the first-ever "Black and Gold Spirit Night." The Hawkeyes' game against the Nittany Lions was the UI's Homecoming game for 2010 and it was also televised live to a primetime national audience by ESPN.