IOWA CITY – The Iowa Board of Regents approved the schematic design, project description, budget, and financing plan for an $89.9 million revitalization of the north end zone of the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium.
The north end zone renovation project will include the demolition and reconstruction of the entire north end zone of Kinnick Stadium. Enhancements include a second deck for seating, new restrooms, expanded concourses, improved concessions, an enclosed walkway from the west campus Transportation Center, the Kinnick Edge outdoor club seating, new outdoor Ironmen box seats, new ribbon board, and a new video board that will be larger than the current board in the south end zone.
“Kinnick Stadium is recognized as one of the iconic football stadiums in college football,” said Gary Barta, the UI’s director of athletics. “Our primary goal is to enhance the fan experience. We are closing in the north end zone; fans will be that much closer, that much louder, and the Kinnick Edge will be that much greater.”
“As with all other athletic department projects, this renovation will be completely funded by UI Athletics, through private support, bonding, and athletics revenue. We are grateful to our loyal fans, who continue to recognize our need for these projects and upgrades so that we remain competitive.”
The renovation will increase restroom facilities by 146 percent, including a 200 percent increase in women’s facilities; 90 percent increase in concession points of sale; 42 percent increase in concourse width in the north end zone; 25 percent increase in patron legroom; and wider aisles with handrails. The new concourses will increase from 24 to 34 feet in width, with a dedicated concourse for upper level seating.
The nearly three-year renovation will begin following the 2016 season. The enhancements include replacing the current Field Turf prior to the 2017 season. Outdoor seating will be completed prior to the 2018 season, and the project will be completed prior to the 2019 season.
“University of Iowa football is built on tradition, and the cornerstone of that tradition is Kinnick Stadium. Every Hawkeye player and coach who has stepped onto that field knows it is a unique place that carries special meaning,” said head football coach Kirk Ferentz. “More important, though, is when Hawkeye fans tell me what this stadium means to them. Memories from Kinnick have been made for generations and this is a wonderful opportunity to continue that tradition for many years to come.
“The pride and value Iowans place on this university is unmatched – and it goes well beyond a football stadium and athletics. Whether it’s the new Children’s Hospital, our new dormitories or the arts campus, we understand, as Iowans, that an investment at the University of Iowa is an investment in our future and our state.”
The north end zone of Kinnick Stadium was last upgraded in 1986. Improvements will include 18-inch wide bench seating, compared to current width of less than 17 inches. Legroom will be increased from 24 inches to 30 inches; aisles will increase from 42 to 48 inches and will include handrails.
When completed, the north end zone will have approximately 10,234 seats, including 8,516 general admission seats divided between the lower bowl and upper deck. Outdoor seats number 1,570 on the club level, with opportunities for 148 Ironmen outdoor boxes and premium patio patrons at the main concourse level.
The Board also approved the financing plan submitted by the UI for the project. The plan is similar to that which was created for the renovation of Kinnick Stadium, which was completed in 2006, and the recent renovation of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which was completed in 2012. It includes revenue generated from fund-raising, bonding, and athletics department revenue.