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Kinnick Stadium (Iowa) renovation

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by 3yardsandacloud, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    From SI.com

    Regents approve $87M renovation for Kinnick

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Fans who have missed a spectacular play at Iowa's Kinnick Stadium because they were standing in line outside busy restrooms have griped for years that there are too few of them.

    "I think the biggest complaint is lack of concession space and bathrooms. I hear it more from the older people," said Brian Nerad, a 20-year season ticket holder from Iowa City. "I don't even go out for concessions at halftime because it's so packed."


    Engineers say the plumbing is past its prime and the rusting supports beneath the wooden south end zone bleachers won't last another five years.

    Faced with a litany of shortcomings, the state Board of Regents decided Wednesday to spend $87 million to renovate the 75-year-old stadium, despite concerns about the perception of spending millions of dollars during a time of tight budgets and rising tuition.

    The board voted unanimously to move ahead with a two-year project to replace the south bleachers, build a new press box with luxury boxes and club seating, add more restrooms and expand concession areas.

    Regents, hesitant to leap into the project, had asked Iowa officials in December to explore a series of other options and provide more details of financing.

    "This time, I thought they had all the answers," said regent John Forsythe. "I just felt we should make sure we're doing this right. If we do it right, it should be a 50-year fix."

    The university will pay for the project by issuing no more than $100 million in bonds. The debt will be repaid with up to $15 million in private donations, revenue from leasing the boxes and club seats and added revenue from concessions.

    No tax dollars will be used, according to the plan.

    "I think the right decision was made," said Bob Bowlsby, Iowa athletic director. "The regents had questions ... and we came back with a plan that addressed them. It's investing in the years to come."

    Plans to remodel Kinnick Stadium, built in 1929, were first presented to the board last March. Experts agreed that rebuilding the stadium, originally constructed at a cost of $497,000, would easily have cost $400 million or more.

    The most pressing need is to fix the south end bleachers. The section was added in 1972 and is the only part of the stadium seating not supported by a permanent structure. The section will be replaced with a permanent bowl-shaped structure with about 1,000 fewer seats.

    A new press box will replace the varied level, low-ceiling structure built in the 1950s, and a new variety of luxury suites, some renting for up to $85,000 a season, and generous club seating will bring in about $6.5 million a year.

    A spacious concourse will be built underneath with new concession stands, restrooms and new locker rooms for the Hawkeyes and visiting teams. The project also will bring Kinnick some of the modern amenities found in other college stadiums across the country.

    The original 1929 plumbing will be replaced and the turf will be replaced at a cost of $1 million.

    Bowlsby said interest in the pricey seating, measured in letters of intent by interested parties, has been significant.

    "The response has been substantial so far. I don't think we'll have a problem finding interest," he said.

    The upgrades will be a welcome to Hawkeye fans like Nerad.

    "Most people I've talked to believe this is something that needs to be done," said Nerad, 38. "I think you just have to stay ahead of the times. And aesthetically, I think the stadium will look a lot better."

    Construction is expected to begin this fall, and none of the work will conflict with Iowa home games, according to the plan.

    The outdoor work includes new brickwork, an outdoor plaza, an arched entryway and new landscaping.
     
  2. LoKyBuckeye

    LoKyBuckeye I give up. This board is too hard to understand. Staff Member

    Iowa is one of the places I haven't been to in the Big Ten, I hope to make it there in a few years... maybe I should wait until the construction is done so I don't miss any of the while in the can.
     

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