Iowa Football

Iowa pauses season ticket sales on a day the Hawkeyes report 9 COVID-19 cases

It's not over for college football 2020, but college football 2020 is headed into reality check stage

The Iowa players take the field for a NCAA football game against Pitt at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept.
The Iowa players take the field for a NCAA football game against Pitt at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

The University of Iowa called timeout Monday on 2020 football season ticket sales.

Only fans who have renewed season tickets and completed per-seat contributions by June 30 will be included in potential Kinnick Stadium seating plans. New sales of the “Fight for Iowa” digital season pass, mini-plans, group, Hawkeye Village, and single-games ticket sales are paused until a clearer picture of Kinnick Stadium capacity and social distancing requirements are determined, the UI said in a release.

The Hawkeye Express, which has provided fans train transportation from a satellite parking lot in Coralville to Kinnick Stadium since 2006, will not be operational for the 2020 football season because of the potential of reduced capacity, the UI also announced. Ticketing and parking for all venues beginning this fall will move to mobile-only. Mobile tickets and parking passes will be scanned from smartphones or smartwatches to access parking lots and gates. Traditional paper tickets and parking hangtags will not be printed and mailed.

“Hawkeye fans are excited for the upcoming season and we truly appreciate their continued enthusiasm and support,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said in the release. “With the current information available, we needed to pause additional sales and start focusing on reduced capacity seating models based on our season ticket holders. We anticipate finalizing this by late July and will share with our fans.

“The option of having the ability to accommodate as many Hawkeye fans who are comfortable attending a game in Kinnick Stadium still is one of the scenarios.”

So, it’s not over, but the other release UI athletics sent Monday was a weekly COVID-19 update.

Iowa reported nine positives out of the 40 tests it took for the week of June 15-21. As part of “return to campus protocol, the UI began testing players, coaches and staff on May 29. Iowa has had 12 positives and 374 negative tests.

After a positive test, UI athletics and medical staff go through its protocol, which includes contact-tracing procedures. This mandatory protocol also includes isolation for the individuals who test positive, and quarantine for those individuals who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“While we have experienced an increase in positive tests, almost all are related to individuals who had been in quarantine due to our contact tracing and developed symptoms,” Dr. Andrew Peterson, UI associate professor and head team physician, said in the release. “Our overall process, including testing and daily health screening, is working as expected.”

The news is similar all over college football.

— Clemson reported 23 positives last Friday.

— Kansas State had 14 positives and paused voluntary workouts for two weeks.

— Four days into voluntary workouts, Texas had 13 positives.

Imagine a training staff trying to sort through covid tests, quarantine protocols and contact tracing, never mind the training duties that come with summer conditioning workouts.

Imagine a practice where different units are out because of quarantine. Imagine having a practice with the entire secondary waiting out covid exposure in their residences.

This is an experiment and no one knows how it’s going to turn out. When Iowa started its offseason workouts June 8, Barta said to wait and see, that the virus would dictate how this goes. Risks would be calculated and decisions would be made. One target date was July 4.

The health concerns, the financial pressures of needing a season to pay the bills and the fact that college football is played by college students and not pros who could live a bubble in Orlando was always going to make this a difficult needle for college football to thread.

The UI did close its release with this, and it’s kind of fitting, like a “just in case.”

“In the event the 2020 season is disrupted, the University of Iowa Athletics Department will provide future credit or ticket refunds.”

Here’s the full news release from the UI. It’s info you need. Going to Iowa sports is changing.

UIAD Announces Change to Football Season Tickets

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa announced Monday it has paused ticket sales for the 2020 football season. Only individuals who have renewed season tickets and completed per-seat contributions by June 30 will be included in potential Kinnick Stadium seating plans.

New sales of the Fight for Iowa digital season pass, mini-plans, group, Hawkeye Village, and single-games ticket sales are paused until a clearer picture of Kinnick Stadium capacity and social distancing requirements are determined.

“Hawkeye fans are excited for the upcoming season and we truly appreciate their continued enthusiasm and support,” said Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair Gary Barta. “With the current information available, we needed to pause additional sales and start focusing on reduced capacity seating models based on our season ticket holders. We anticipate finalizing this by late July and will share with our fans.

“The option of having the ability to accommodate as many Hawkeye fans who are comfortable attending a game in Kinnick Stadium still is one of the scenarios.”

The Hawkeye Express, which has provided fans train transportation from a satellite parking lot in Coralville to Kinnick Stadium since 2006, will not be operational for the 2020 football season because of the potential of reduced capacity. Fans who had purchased tickets for the Hawkeye Express will have an opportunity for a refund or credit toward other parking options. The Hawkeye Express is owned by the Iowa Northern Railway Company and operates on the tracks owned by the Iowa Interstate Railroad.

“We have a wonderful relationship with the Iowa Northern Railway, Iowa Interstate Railroad and the City of Coralville,” said Barta. “With so many uncertainties heading into the season and the potential for reduced capacity and ridership, we determined the sensible decision was to suspend operations for this season.”

Ticketing and parking for all venues beginning in the Fall of 2020 will move to mobile-only. Mobile tickets and parking passes will be scanned from smartphones or smartwatches to access parking lots and gates. Traditional paper tickets and parking hangtags will not be printed and mailed.

Fans utilizing public parking lots on game day will have the ability to pre-purchase mobile parking passes until noon on the Friday before a home game. Day-of-game sales in public parking lots will continue as space allows. Credit cards will be the only acceptable form of payment on game day.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Mobile ticketing will provide contactless entry to our venues, while also giving greater flexibility and ticket security,” said Barta. “As conditions evolve throughout the coming year, mobile tickets provide more options to deliver the best fan experience in a rapidly changing environment for all our venues.”

Fans will need to have a smartphone/watch to access events as University of Iowa Athletics also will move away from PDF ticket printouts for mobile ticket delivery. Ticket holders who do not have access to a smartphone should contact the Athletics Ticket Office to make arrangements. (1-800-IA-HAWKS)

Season ticket holders who selected the traditional paper ticket option during the renewal period will receive a commemorative set of printed tickets at the end of the football season.

Ticket buyers will receive links allowing them to download tickets and parking to Apple Wallet (iPhone) or Google Pay (Android). Before reaching the venue gates, fans simply pull up the tickets with QR codes on their smartphone/watch screen to show the gate attendant for scanning. Fans will be instructed to download tickets/passes before the game into their Apple Wallet or into Google Pay.

Information will be provided throughout the summer to assist in managing account access and tickets on mobile devices. Fans will be informed of these instructions through email, at “Mobile Ticket Central” on hawkeyesports.com and through social media.

Season ticket holders and single-game buyers will continue to have the ability to post mobile tickets to StubHub, the official fan-to-fan marketplace of University of Iowa Athletics. Fans can access StubHub through their ticket account in the event they are unable to attend an event.

Suite and premium seat holders will receive their ticket booklet, although adjustments to capacity and parking could be implemented as additional information becomes available.

If the event the 2020 season is disrupted, the University of Iowa Athletics Department will provide future credit or ticket refunds.

Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.