Carpet Here, Concrete There

July 27, 2006

If you’ve ever built a home, you know that when the carpet starts going down, the end is near. Such is the case for the renovation of historic Kinnick Stadium, the home of the nationally ranked University of Iowa football team.

With the Hawkeyes’ 2006 season opener now less than 40 days away, everyone involved in the $89 million project that has taken the 76-year-old game-day home of the UI’s varsity football program and catapulted it into the next century in terms of amenities and luxuries, knows that the clock is ticking. But, as they say, the light at the end of the tunnel is not the on-coming train.

“We are progressing very, very nicely. Sure, we ahead here, behind there, but we feel pretty good right now that when the game day hits, we’ll be completed and ready,” said Jane Meyer, the UI’s senior associate director of athletics and the person at the top of the UI Department’ of Intercollegiate Athletics’ pyramid with respect to the Kinnick Stadium project.

Indeed. Work, is in fact, happening everywhere. Carpet is being laid on all four levels of the new press box. Counter tops are being installed in suites. Television sets, too. The indoor club area at midfield on level one is almost ready for game day…well, at least the cushioned seats are.

In the grandstands, workers are completing the process that seals the concrete from water. That work is happening in the north grandstand; the east and west grandstands are complete and have already had the chairbacks that have been rented by more than 10,000 patrons for the coming season installed on the bleachers.

The concourses? As Billy Crystal once said – “They look marvelous!” In fact, the east concourse appears ready for game day. Clean, empty with concessions stands ready for product. Workers are currently installing the brackets that will hold the television sets that will provide access to the game action while fans are ordering their snacks.

On the exterior, another group of workers are pouring the concrete that will form the walkways and parking areas to the immediate west of the stadium. And, the finishing touch – a beautiful black, wrought-iron-like fence is slowly but surely encircling the facility.

“It’s really quite remarkable to look at what Kinnick look like today compared to just two years ago. Amazing actually,” offered Rick Klatt, associate athletics director for external affairs.

For a look at the latest pictures of the project, click HERE.