July 21, 2004

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If interest in owning a uniform worn by a member of the 2004 University of Iowa football team in the UI’s Throwback Game against Kent State on Sept. 4 is any indication, fans of the Hawkeyes are very excited about the UI’s plan to turn back the college football clock in celebration of the 75th anniversary of historic Kinnick Stadium.

UI Athletic Department officials announced today that all of the uniforms to be worn by the 2004 Iowa Hawkeyes in this year’s season opener and available for purchase by the general public have been sold to friends and fans. 109 uniforms sets – the helmet, jersey and pants to be worn by the Iowa Hawkeyes in this year’s special event – of the 120 manufactured exclusively for the Throwback Game were sold for $500 each. The uniform sets went on sale at noon Tuesday, July 7.

“Obviously, we’re delighted by the response. It certainly isn’t a surprise that all of the uniform sets have been spoken for. What is surprising is how quickly the inventory has been sold.”
Joseph Sulentic, UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

The remaining 11 sets will be utilized in a variety of ways by the UI Athletic Department. The UI plans to put one set on permanent display at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame. Another will be given away to fans of the Hawkeyes who have purchased a “Patch,” the one-of-a-kind collectible that’s currently on sale at Hy-Vee stores across the state, the Official Iowa Hawk Shop and the UI Athletic Ticket Office. A third will be given away to one lucky fan who attends the Throwback Game.

“Obviously, we’re delighted by the response. It certainly isn’t a surprise that all of the uniform sets have been spoken for. What is surprising is how quickly the inventory has been sold,” said Joseph Sulentic, a member of the faculty of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center of the UI’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

Sulentic oversaw the activities of students Tim Rypma of Des Moines, Lora Baccam of Mt. Pleasant, Diana Reed of Norwalk, and Cory Finley of Geneva, Ill. Each received a grade of “A” in the class, “Entrepreneurship and New Business Formation,” and were directly involved in the Throwback Game uniform project.

“It’s another indication of just how much fans of the Hawkeyes love their Hawkeyes. It also speaks to how much this event and the celebration of Kinnick Stadium means to friends and fans of the Hawkeyes,” said Greg Morris, equipment manager for Coach Kirk Ferentz’s program and the point person inside the UI Athletic Department for Sulentic.

Approximately 60 of the 70 uniforms to be worn by Kent State are still available and can be purchased at www.heroeswanted.net. “The group will now focus its full attention on marketing the Kent State uniforms. It will be an interesting challenge – and a great learning experience – for the students,” said Sulentic.

The quick sale of the uniforms to be worn by the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Throwback Game matches the brisk sales pace for tickets to the once-in-a-lifetime college football event. The UI Athletic Department has already sold nearly twice as many tickets for this year’s season opener – the Throwback Game on Sept. 4 – compared to last year’s season opener – Iowa’s game against eventual Mid-American Conference champion Miami (Ohio).

Didn’t get one? Attend the Throwback Game or purchase a “Patch” and you could win a Throwback Game uniform set.

“There’s no question that people are very excited about the Throwback Game and the 2004 Iowa Hawkeyes. Season tickets sales are up in every category and single-game sales are also strong. There’s no doubt we’ll enter the month of September with three games at sellout status and three more possibly approaching that status,” said David Sandstrum, the UI’s director of ticket operations.

Specifically, Sandstrum said general public season ticket sales are up 2,500 tickets compared to last year’s total and 3,400 year-over-year. UI faculty and staff season tickets are up 150 compared to last year’s total and just less than 200 year-over-year. UI students are also excited – Sandstrum said sales of season tickets to current UI students and “Student Alumni” season tickets will easily match and exceed last year’s combined total.

On a single-game basis, Sandstrum last week suspended sales of tickets for Iowa’s home games against Iowa State and Ohio State to meet the steady demand for season tickets. It’s likely that tickets to Iowa’s 2004 Homecoming game against Michigan State will be the next home game to be moved into the “suspended” category.

“Obviously, we want to sell a season ticket if we have the opportunity and interest, so we need to put a temporary halt on single-game sales for those events that are selling at a fast pace. Fortunately for us, fans of the Hawkeyes and college football statewide are making their plans and purchasing their season and single-game tickets now versus later because they’ve realized that they may be on the outside looking in if they don’t,” Sandstrum said.

“It’s exciting and it’s a direct reflection of the hard work of the coaching staff and student-athletes,” he added.