CEDAR FALLS — The Board of Regents approved without discussions Thursday all aspects of the projected $89.9 million renovation to the north end zone at Kinnick Stadium on the University of Iowa campus.
The project will be a complete reconstruction of the area, includinng a second deck for seating, restrooms, larger concourses and improved concession areas. There also will be outdoor box seats and a new video board.
“Kinnick Stadium is recognized as one of the iconic football stadiums in college football,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said in a release from the university. “Our primary goal is to enhance the fan experience. We are closing in the north end zone; fans will be that much closer, that much louder and the Kinnick Edge will be that much greater.
“As with all other athletic department projects, this renovation will be completely funded by UI athletics, through private support, bonding, and athletics revenue. We are grateful to our loyal fans, who continue to recognize our need for these projects and upgrades so that we remain competitive.”
Work on the project will begin following this season and take up to three years to complete.
“University of Iowa football is built on tradition and the cornerstone of that tradition is Kinnick Stadium,” Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said in the release. “Every Hawkeye player and coach who has stepped onto that field knows it is a unique place that carries special meaning.”
Barta said the renovation would reduce Kinnick's capacity below 70,000.
Currently, Kinnick seats 70,585 fans. The renovation will drop capacity to around 69,000. Iowa averaged 63,142 in attendance last season, placing 24th nationally and seventh in the Big Ten. Iowa hasn’t averaged capacity attendance since 2011. In the three years before last season’s 12-2 run, Iowa’s attendance went 70,474, 67,125 and 67,512.
“Going into the project, one of my goals — just emotionally — was to keep it over 70,” Barta said, “but not at the expense of the fan experience. So, the number of seats, the net, will go down slightly.”