Kinnick north end-zone construction continues

The north end zone project won’t be fully complete by Saturday, but the basics will be intact.


Lily Smith

Members of the media tour north end zone construction at Kinnick Stadium on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. Construction is set to be completely finished by the 2019 football season, with outdoor club seating ready for the 2018 season. The Hawkeyes open their season at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, September 1, against Northern Illinois. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

Members of the media were given a tour of the north end zone at Kinnick on Tuesday.

The outdoor club level is almost complete. The seats are all in place, but all that was missing was glass surrounding the back. The outdoor club level will have private restrooms and concessions stands when completed.

For now, there will be limited concessions for the season-opener against Northern Illinois.

“Rest assured, everything will be ready by game day,” said Damian Simcox, the assistant athletics director for facilities, regarding the immediate renovations necessary to accommodate fans for the opening game.

The seating will be completed prior to Northern Illinois and Iowa kicking things off on Saturday, but the new scoreboard, permanent restrooms, concession stands, and elevators will not.

Rest assured, everything will be ready by game day”

— Damian Simcox, the assistant athletics director for facilities

According to the Kinnick Edge website, the outdoor club level features wider seating with armrests and drink holders and a larger concession menu featuring beer and wine.

Construction employees are working four days a week, 10 hours a day, according to Senior Construction Manager Mike Kearns, and this will continue throughout the season in an effort to complete the project as soon as possible.

As the anticipation for the season rises, so does the excitement about the first home game in the renovated stadium.

“Oh, I think it’s awesome. Yeah, unbelievable,” Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz said during his press conference Tuesday. “But as cool as it seems from the field, it’s really awesome on the field to see it, and it was good in April, but it’s like way better now. Probably the neatest moment a week ago Saturday we were watching our scrimmage tape, and to watch the end zone cameras just looking — I can’t tell you why, but seeing it on video was like, wow, that looks really — it’s imposing. I can’t wait to see the fans in it.”

Overall, the north end-zone renovation’s cost rings up at $89.9 million.

The Hawkeyes will open the season on Saturday against Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m.

“Hopefully, we’re going to make the fans be loud and not sit on their hands,” Ferentz said. “That’s a challenge for us.”

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