Sept. 13, 2004
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“I’d do it again, no doubt,” said one man as he reached the top of the stairs that took him from the Hawkeye Express to the parking lot just southwest of Kinnick Stadium shortly before 10 a.m. last Saturday.
“Hats off to the Hawkeyes. It was fun. And it was easy,” said another who just happened to be wearing the rivals colors – Cardinal and Gold.
Yes. The Hawkeye Express rolled last Saturday. In fact, it rolled often. Six times to be exact pre-game and five times post-game. The adjustments that were made between the inaugural trip of the Express on the morning of the Throwback Game on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend and those made in anticipation of the battle on the gridiron for the Cy-Hawk Trophy last Saturday were “just what the doctor ordered,” said Mark Jennings of the UI Athletic Department.
“Our Hawkeye Express team made the right adjustments and we ran flawlessly,” said Jennings about Week 2 for the the UI’s “Train to the Game.”
“We had no lines at the parking lots, the ticket booths or to board the Hawkeye Express,” Jennings said. “And, we were making round trips in less than 30 minutes. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Jennings said the key was providing more access to the Hawkeye Express at its boarding location southeast of Coral Ridge Mall. Riders of the rails had access to only two cars the first week of service; last week, riders could board nine cars of the Express.
“Getting riders on the Express before the game and off the train after is so much easier and quicker with the additional cars. That was the biggest adjustment,” said Jennings.
Jennings said the UI Athletic Department also made some adjustments to the parking lots in Coralville, added additional ticket booths. He also said the shuttle service from Coral Ridge Mall to the Hawkeye Express which originates at the southeast entrance of the Mall nearing the Iowa Children’s Museum had brisk business.
“Parking at the Coral Ridge Mall has proven to be a very attractive option for many fans,” said Jennings.
Tickets for the Hawkeye Express continue to be available at the UI Athletic Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau offices in Coralville and at the information desk inside Coral Ridge Mall.
Tickets cost just $5, are good for round trip service and are good for use on any game day of the 2004 Iowa Hawkeyes. Parking in lots near the Hawkeye Express – which is located south of U.S. Highway 6 at 25th Avenue in Coralville (across the street from the Olive Garden Restaurant) – is free. Parking is also free at the Coral Ridge Mall.