Kinnick Stadium, home for the Iowa football team is hosting its 75th season of Hawkeye football in 2004. One of the 20 largest college owned stadiums in the nation and one of college football’s finest facilities, Kinnick Stadium is routinely filled on Saturdays each fall.
Iowa draws sellout crowds of 70,397 fans at a majority of all home games, and the Hawkeyes recently held a streak of 63 straight sellouts over a period of 12 seasons. Iowa posted a perfect 7-0 home record in 2003, with five of the seven games being sold out.
While Kinnick Stadium has had several renovations and improvements since its opening, the latest set of improvements, at a cost of over $86 million, will take place following the 2004 season. At the completion of this season, the south endzone will be completely replaced. Following the 2005 season, the current press box will be replaced with a four level facility that will extend from goal line to goal line.
The Hawkeyes annually rank among the top 25 schools in the nation in home attendance. Iowa ranked 22nd in home attendance in 2003 with an average of 65,798. Big Ten Conference football games in 2003 drew more than 5.2 million fans as the conference annually ranks first or second nationally in home attendance. Conference games a year ago averaged over 70,000 fans per contest.
The original capacity of Kinnick Stadium was 53,000. Seats were added to the south end zone in 1956, raising the capacity to 60,000. The north end zone was enclosed and capacity increased to 66,000 prior to the 1983 season.
With two more expansion projects completed since, the Stadium now seats 70,397 fans. Kinnick Stadium has 20 miles of bleacher seats and is 79 rows high on each side.
Construction on the stadium was completed Oct. 5, 1929 at a cost of $497,151.42. Original construction took six months, but it has undergone several facelifts since.
Beside the expansions, an artificial surface was installed in 1972. That carpet was replaced in 1981. Prior to the 1989 season a natural grass playing field, Prescription Athletic Turf, was installed. The playing surface was replaced with new sod prior to the 1997 season and will be upgraded again prior to the 2005 season.
The five floor press box was constructed in 1958 at a cost of $490,628.62. It is located between the 25 yard lines on the west side of the stadium.
Between 1995 and 1999, the Kinnick Stadium press box underwent a $3 million improvement and renovation project, which included the addition of 18 private viewing suites and the remodeling of all five levels.
Spectators attending home games of the Iowa Hawkeyes enjoy all the benefits of watching a game on television, thanks to the installation of a SONY JumboTron unit in Kinnick Stadium prior to the 1997 season. The large scale video display unit offers spectators live game action, instant replays and other features, such as highlights from other college football games being played across the nation. Upgraded video boards will be installed prior to the 2005 season.
Kinnick Stadium is also equipped with a state-of-the-art scoreboard system which provides spectators, coaches and student-athletes pertinent game information such as team scores, time remaining and down and distance. The system provides up-to-date team statistical information and includes a message display area capable of displaying up to 65,000 shades of color and live video for instant replays. Manufactured by Daktronics, Inc., the system in Kinnick is believed to be the largest ever installed inside a collegiate athletics facility.
Kinnick Stadium has a rich history, beginning with a 46 0 Hawkeye win over Monmouth in the facility’s first game. The Hawkeyes tied Illinois 7 7 in the dedication game Oct. 19, 1929.
In 1972, the name was changed from Iowa Stadium to Kinnick Stadium in honor of Iowa’s 1939 Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick. His No. 24 jersey was retired by the school because of his success as a scholar-athlete at the University.
Iowa’s all time record in Kinnick Stadium is 217-158-15. Iowa’s current home winning streak, 12 games, is the longest in Kinnick Stadium history. Iowa has had 10 undefeated home seasons, including 2003 when the Hawkeyes were 7-0. Iowa posted a 6-1 home record while winning 11 games in 2002.
The school’s all-time home attendance record was set in 1986 (472,041 fans). The 1991 average of 70,071 established a school record.
Iowa’s season attendance mark for all games is 905,840 set in 1990, a 75,487 per game average.