The University of Iowa is in a tough position Sunday, as well as on Feb. 6. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, and you don’t try to go head-to-head with the NFL.
The Iowa men’s basketball team faces Indiana at 2:05 p.m. Sunday. The NFC Championship between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears — two popular Midwest teams — kicks off at the same time.
“It’s just one of those deals,” Iowa associate athletics director Rick Klatt said. “You play with the cards you’re dealt. I’d like to think we’ll still have a good number of fans in the stands.”
Two weeks later, most of the country will celebrate the unofficial national holiday known as Super Bowl XLV, set to kick off about 5:40 p.m. Feb. 6.
As of Wednesday, Iowa has a home wrestling dual against Indiana scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6.
“There’s a handful of events you don’t want to go head-to-head against,” Klatt said. “One is the Super Bowl.”
Fortunately, that problem may yet be remedied. Carver-Hawkeye Arena isn’t in use on Saturday, and it’s the only dual of the weekend for both teams.
“I have a feeling we’re going to solve that problem,” Klatt said. “It’d be the smart thing to not ask our fans to make that choice.”
The dual isn’t on TV, so the main hurdle comes in getting the Hoosiers to rearrange their travel plans.
The dual is at 5:30 p.m. because the Iowa women’s basketball team plays a home game against Penn State at 2 p.m. The Iowa women have played the early afternoon on Super Bowl Sunday more than once without taking a major hit in attendance.
“Most fans who go to the game are back home and settled into their couches by the 5:40 p.m. kickoff,” Klatt said.
Iowa doesn’t have the same luxury of trying to move the men’s basketball game this Sunday. The game is scheduled for the Big Ten Network.
“We could have just as easily been going against Seattle vs. Atlanta, and no one in Iowa would have cared,” Klatt said.
Iowa’s marketing director said 12,500-plus tickets have been sold for that game, and he hopes they get used. Klatt isn’t counting on a lot of walk-ups.
“The football matchup hurts any chance to sell additional tickets,” Klatt said. “There’s a lot of Bear and Packer fans in Iowa.”