NORTH LIBERTY — As Hawkeye fans honor the 100th anniversary of Nile Kinnick’s birth this year, a North Liberty company is selling bricks from the University of Iowa stadium named after the Iowa football star who died in World War II.
Bricks from Kinnick Stadium’s original structure are available for sale at Bravo Sports Marketing, a business run by two men who met while working for the UI athletics department.
When the stadium opened in 1929, it was named Iowa Stadium, not yet touched by the life of the Kinnick, Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner.
Last summer, the UI renovated the stadium’s east grandstands and gave the company about 1,200 bricks, which went on sale before Christmas, said Brook Peterson, the company’s president.
Bravo Sports Marketing is the UI’s official partner for football group sales and gameday hospitality.
About 400 bricks are in stock, and they cost $99.99 each.
“It’s a great conversation piece,” Peterson said. “Whether they’re in somebody’s basement bar or in their office, we tried to create a piece that was classy enough that it could be displayed anywhere.”
It’s quite a process to get the bricks prepared to be sold, Peterson said.
They arrive to North Liberty as a piece of wall that needs to be broken apart.
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“We don’t completely clean all the mortar off of them just because it kind of adds some character to have some of it on there,” he said.
From there, the bricks are dipped into an acid-based solution. Once clean, a trophy plate is affixed with an image of Kinnick Stadium — the home of the Iowa Hawkeyes — from the 1940s. To seal the deal, a letter of authenticity comes with each brick.
“We are starting to get low on them,” Peterson said. “I imagine once football season comes, they won’t last long.”
This is not the first time Peterson’s company has sold bricks from Kinnick.
In 2004, after work on the south end zone, the company sold about 8,000 bricks, even before the company had an online presence.
“They sold so well that we knew when they were doing renovations this go-round that there’d be value in those,” Peterson said. “ ... We didn’t have any left for a few years and were still getting calls now and again.”
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