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Kinnick Stadium video board upgrade nearing completion

[ 0 ] July 17, 2013 |
Workers continued progress on replacing the main scoreboard in the south endzone of Kinnick Stadium on Thursday, May 9, 2013. Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen

Workers continued progress on replacing the main scoreboard in the south endzone of Kinnick Stadium on Thursday, May 9, 2013. Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen

A drive past Kinnick Stadium brings a preview of coming attractions. Most notably: A $9 million video and sound upgrade.

“Fans can get a really good picture of what the finished product will look like,” said Jane Meyer, Iowa’s senior associate athletic director, “but it is not done by any means.

“There’s still lots of work to be done.”

Construction continues, as does a countdown to the upcoming football season.

With six weeks until the Hawkeyes’ Aug. 31 opener against Northern Illinois, workers are focusing on the wiring that will enhance the game day experience.

Meyer said the project could be complete in time for Iowa’s annual Kids Day on Aug. 17.

“I would say 75 percent of the physical structure is up,” Meyer said. “And then there is a lot of behind the scenes, of hooking up all the boards and finishing it off.

“We have all the internal guts that actually run the boards, that has to be done.”

The south board is 120 feet wide and 31 feet tall, with high-definition capabilities.

Two video walls on the north side measure approximately 38 feet wide and 21 feet tall.

A video ribbon board will stand 8 feet tall and stretch 400 feet.

“If you drive along Melrose (Avenue), or Hawkins (Drive), or along Evashevski (Drive), you will be able to see a significant difference on the north end zone,” Meyer said.

The Hawkeyes are following a bigger-is-better trend sweeping across the country, including a 72 feet tall, 160 feet wide video board at the Dallas Cowboys’ home stadium.

And there’s the 36-by-79.5 foot board in Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium.

“Anything that we do, we will always figure out what everybody else is doing, and then how to tailor it to be the best for our program,” Meyer said. “It wasn’t Iowa State, solely. It was other programs. What has Michigan State done? What has Ohio State done? TCF (Bank) Stadium in Minnesota, what does that look like?

“What’s the new technologies that are out there?”

The inspiration for that technology is fan comfort.

“When you think about the game day experience, they want as much information, if not more information, than what they can get access to when they are at home,” Meyer said. “So, what we’re trying to do is to enhance that fan experience, whether they are sitting on the 50-yard line or whether they are sitting in the north or the south end zone.”

Even after the video board is completed, tailgaters may see signs of a construction zone.

The Hawkeyes are in the midst of upgrading their football offices, including meeting rooms, lockers and a 22,500-square-foot strength and conditioning area.

It is expected to be completed next summer, at a projected cost of $36.6 million.

“It’s critical that we provide safe routes, to and from the stadium,” Meyer said. “From a Kinnick Stadium perspective, there will be no issues, because by the time the football season rolls around, that will be very safe.

“There will be slightly different traffic patterns on foot and by vehichle, but we have all that information, which will be shared when we send out season tickets.”

Meyer said information will also be posted on HawkeyeSports.com when available.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 15 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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