Iowa soccer breaks ground on operations facility

After being announced in the summer, the team is excited for the new facility that will border their current field.


Megan Nagorzanski

Iowa forward Jenny Cape dribbles down field during Iowa’s match against Illinois State on Sunday, September 1, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Red Birds 4-3.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

The Iowa soccer team has been a program on the rise over the past few years, as on field results and a solid coaching staff has helped the Hawkeyes become a contender in the Big Ten. It made the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history last season.

The program then announced that there would be a new soccer operations facility that would be ready at the start of the fall 2021 season. This was exciting news to many Hawkeye soccer players, staff and alum, as the facility will help the team have its own area away from the rest of the sports.

“This building is student-athlete driven, and it is for them and their day-to-day operations,” head coach Dave DiIanni said. “It is for their day-to-day investment in the game of soccer, but also in the classroom, and it will take the stress and day-to-day focus away from having to travel to three or four different buildings.”

The groundbreaking event took place Oct. 15, with the team and staff along with several others at the event. On what ended up being a warm day with clear skies, the shovels hit the dirt for the first time. It was a huge cause of celebration for the team, as they look forward to reaping the rewards of the $3.9 million 8,400 square-foot facility.

“Just being able to go into a locker room that’s right on the field, and then walking out and being right there is going to be a new experience that will be exciting,” freshman midfielder/forward Maggie Johnston said.

Because of the pandemic, funding from donors has been crucial to getting the project over the line. Several donors have made significant contributions to the project and have helped make the dream of a new facility come to light.

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The backing reflects the increase in support and belief in the program, players said, and makes the team feel good knowing that lots of people care about the success and wellbeing of the program.

“It was super exciting to see that we have so much support, as an anonymous donor was nice enough to do this for us,” junior midfielder Hailey Rydberg said.

Even though some of the oldest members of the team will only be able to use it for a season, it will give them a place of pride to come back to.

Along with the team breaking ground on the facility, the renderings were also released just a few days after. The facility boasts a modern look, somewhat similar to the current Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center but even cleaner. The locker room will be comfortable, with plenty of room for the players and space in the middle chairs.

Meanwhile, the study spaces will give the players a place to work on their studies without having to make a journey elsewhere. The common areas will overlook the field and have plenty of natural light.

Both team’s bench areas will be attached to the building, and the video and press area will be located on the second story of the field. This means that the current press box and features will be torn down to make way for the new.

Images of the renderings can be found on the Iowa women’s soccer page at