What You'll Find Here
- Football stadium
- Press Box
Wireless Access - Rooms 55 and 140, as well as 1st floor meeting space, Gate D entrance, 2nd Floor meeting area, 3rd floor President office, 4th floor A.D. office, Press row to Public safety area in hallways and South end zone.
Designed to hold 45,000 fans, Kinnick Stadium was built in less than a year on a site excavated some thirty feet below the surrounding street level. It replaced the former stadium located on the east bank of the Iowa River and was renamed in 1972 in honor of halfback Nile Kinnick, the University of Iowa’s most celebrated player. Kinnick, an honors student, class president, and 1939 Heisman Trophy winner, was the backbone of the University of Iowa’s legendary “Iowa Iron-men” squad. Following graduation, his life was cut tragically short when his fighter plane crashed during a training mission in World War II.
Hayden Fry, another giant in Iowa football lore, was hired as head coach in 1979. He turned around a perennially losing program and, in 1981, delivered the first winning season in nineteen years and a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Kinnick Stadium’s plan, like that of many other football facilities from its period, reflects the Roman Colosseum. The decision to excavate the playing field below grade made possible a relatively modest and elegant external profile in harmony with the nearby residential neighborhood. Entry points are accented with large arches arranged in groups of three. The dominating east and west facades are softened by ornamentation that includes Juliet-style faux balconies and arches infilled with brick. Though built with only the east and west grand- stands in the beginning, Kinnick Stadium has had additions through the years that have added bleachers on the north and south and a press box, initially constructed in 1958, onto the west. Kinnick’s 2006 renovation replaced the south bleachers and scoreboard. A new press box, complete with sky boxes and indoor/outdoor club seats, has replaced the original to meet contemporary standards and the needs of media technology but was also designed to respect the venerable 1929 design. The new press box has been named after former athletic director Dr. Paul W. Brechler, who oversaw construction of the first press box (affectionately known thereafter as the “Brechler Hilton”). The stadium renovations through the years have resulted in a seating capacity of nearly 70,000.
The 2006 project also included the construction of a large landscaped approach (Krause Family Plaza) at the south end zone, providing a ceremonial entrance to the stadium and a point of welcome to the campus. New limestone panels bear the seal of the University. A colossal freestanding bronze statue of Nile Kinnick (scholar and athlete) in a pose inspired by Michelangelo’s David greets fans entering the stadium. A life-size, high-relief bronze narrative panel just inside the monumental three-arched south entry commemorates the triumphant moment in Kinnick’s career when, in the final minutes of the game, Kinnick carried the ball over the goal line to defeat mighty Notre Dame and secure the Heisman Trophy.
The facility is accessible to spectators with disabilities. Call (319) 335-9327 for information.