Iowa Football

Iowa planning summer 2020 upgrades to Kinnick Stadium

Maintenance should be done by 2020 season opener

A look at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City before the 2019 season. (The Gazette)
A look at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City before the 2019 season. (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Just months after completing its $89 million renovation of Kinnick Stadium’s north end zone — and with fundraising for that project continuing — the University of Iowa now is seeking proposals from design professionals interested in upgrading the facility’s west, and possibly east, stands.

The forthcoming work is billed as a continuation of a “multiyear upgrade of the facility to maintain it in a quality condition for generations to come.” Past work, according to a request for qualifications issued Thursday, includes masonry tuckpointing, parapet repairs, structural steel lintel replacement, and waterproofing of the concrete stadium decks.

The UI Department of Athletics before the start of this football season wrapped its $89 million Kinnick north stands revamp, which included more than 1,600 new club and premium seats, new restrooms, additional concessions, wider concourse, and new videoboard.

The department remains short of its $25 million goal for that project, with $23.4 million raised to date, according to UI Center for Advancement spokeswoman Dana Larson. An online “Kinnick Edge” campaign offers recognition on a donor wall for gifts and pledges above $5,000, or new club seats for annual contributions of nearly $2,000 plus the cost of season tickets.

The new work proposed for Kinnick Stadium is not related to the north end zone project and is expected to cost less than $1 million. As the Board of Regents last month changed its policy from requiring board approval for projects costing more than $500,000 to those topping $1 million, the university will not need regent approval to proceed, UI officials told The Gazette.

A description of the new Kinnick work — according to the university’s request for qualifications — includes “select maintenance items to the existing west stands,” including waterproofing, repainting, and other repairs. The east stands will see repairs “as budget allows,” according to the UI documents.

Proposals for the project are due Friday, with work planned for the summer to be completed by Aug. 1 — in time for the 2020 football season, which kicks off Sept. 5 at home against Northern Iowa.

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Hawkeye football revenue for the 2019 budget year that ended June 30 — before this fall’s season start — was below budget, as was its premium seat revenue and philanthropic support, according to a November Board of Regents report.

On the UI athletics page promoting support of its north end zone project, officials stress the importance of Kinnick Stadium — and keeping it updated — to the university’s larger mission.

“While Kinnick Stadium has undergone upgrades throughout its history, we must continue to improve it to ensure our success both on and off the field,” according to the website. “High quality facilities are critical to the entire university — helping the UI recruit the very best students and top-notch faculty, staff, and coaches.”

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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