Kinnick Stadium, home for the Iowa football team, is in its 77th season of hosting Hawkeye football games. One of the 25 largest college owned stadiums in the nation and one of college football's finest facilities, Kinnick Stadium is routinely filled on Saturdays each fall.
A two-year, $88 million restoration and renovation project for the stadium was completed prior to the start of the 2006 season. The project, which was the largest such undertaking ever for Iowa athletics, includes an entirely new south endzone and a new press and hospitality facility. The endzone project, which included new lockerrooms, training room and media facilities for the Hawkeye football team on game days, was completed prior to the 2005 season. The new four-level press and hospitality facility will be operational for the 2006 season. The facility extends the full length of the west side of the stadium. It includes 47 private viewing suites and over 1,000 club seats.
The renovation also provides a new entry plaza to the south entrance, wider seats throughout most of the stadium, new and upgraded restroom facilities and concession areas, new scoreboards and a modernized sound system. It also raised the official capacity of Kinnick Stadium to 70,585.
Iowa draws sellout crowds for a majority of all home games, including all 12 home games in the last two years and 17 straight games over the past three seasons.
The Hawkeyes annually rank among the top 25 schools in the nation in home attendance. Iowa ranked 21st in home attendance in 2005 with its average of 70,585. Big Ten Conference football games in 2005 drew over 5 million fans as the conference annually ranks first or second nationally in home attendance. Conference games a year ago averaged over 72,000 fans per contest.
Construction on the original 53,000-seat 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. 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 three more expansion projects completed since, Kinnick now seats 70,585. Kinnick Stadium has 20 miles of bleacher seats and is 79 rows high on each side.
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 during the 2005 season.
The original five floor press box was constructed in 1958 at a cost of $490,628.62, and was 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. The original press box was demolished in December 2005.
Spectators attending home games of the Iowa Hawkeyes enjoy all the benefits of watching a game on television, thanks to the installation of all new video boards and scoreboards in 2005. The large scale video display units offer spectators live game action, instant replays and other features, such as highlights from other college football games being played across the nation. A complete new sound system was also installed.
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 228-157-15. Iowa's longest home winning streak of 22 games spanned the 2002 to 2005 seasons. The Hawkeyes have had 11 undefeated home seasons, including both 2003 and 2004. Iowa posted a 5-1 home record in 2005 and a 6-1 mark in 2002.