IOWA CITY, Iowa – The UI Athletics Department is adding live entertainment and a little more to its list of activities scheduled on Krause Family Plaza prior to home games of the University of Iowa’s football team.
A different band will appear on the Hawkeye Radio Network stage prior to each of the seven home games of the Hawkeyes. Bands will typically make two appearances during game day, one that ends minutes before the arrival of the football team (typically two hours before the scheduled time for kickoff) and a second that will begin after the conclusion of the Hawkeye Radio Network’s pregame radio show and end at the scheduled time for kickoff. The schedule will be modified slightly on the Saturday’s when Iowa plays its two night games.
The schedule of bands includes many that are already big hits in the state of Iowa:
· Illinois State (Sept. 5) – David Zollo and The Body Electric (blues/rock/roots)
· Pittsburgh (Sept. 19) – The Fez (pop/rock/soul/groove)
· North Texas (Sept. 26) – King of the Tramps (rock/blues)
· Maryland (Oct. 31) – Danita Portz (new country)
· Minnesota (Nov. 14) – Brother Trucker (roots/rock)
· Purdue (Nov. 21) – Jacob County and The Damaged Goods (Americana/rock and roll)
“We’re committed to providing additional value for our ticket buyers. We believe season ticket holders who pass by the plaza on their way to their own pregame activities or as they enter the stadium for the game will enjoy this addition to their day at Kinnick. We also want to give our single-game fan an exciting option for a place to call home before they head into Kinnick for the game,” said Rick Klatt, the UI’s associate athletics director for external relations.
Fan participation in the “Hawk Walk” – the name given to the walk the Hawkeyes make from their team buses into Kinnick Stadium approximately two hours before kickoff for each home game – is a priority for the UI. Lisa Pearson, director of marketing for the UI Athletics Department, sees the introduction of live music as another reason for fans to break away briefly from their tailgate parties and greet the team upon arrival.
“We have seen a very steady increase in participation in this special piece of each game day. We’re confident this addition will accelerate that growth,” said Pearson, who also noted that the UI will be offering some unique additions to game-day that will be “Instagram-able.”
“We will also be introducing a couple of great ‘selfie’ and photo opportunities for our fans that we think will be big hits and will make their visit to Kinnick even that much more enjoyable, memorable, and sharable, particularly for those fans who are not regular attendees. For now, we’re going to keep these as a surprise for game day because a written explanation wouldn’t quite do them justice,” said Pearson.
Fans of the Hawkeyes visiting Krause Family Plaza on game days have always had the opportunity to listen to the pregame show of the Hawkeye Radio Network, shop at Herky’s Locker Room, play a game or two in the Hawkeye Kids’ Zone, and celebrate Iowa’s farmers, meet the ANF Wall of Honor honoree, and get autographs from former Hawkeyes at the annual America Needs Farmer Game Day presented by Iowa Farm Bureau, and all of those opportunities will be available again this season.
This season’s Hawkeye Kids’ Zone will feature inflatable games, face painting, temporary tattoos, a prize wheel, and more, all for young Hawkeye fans. The UI Athletics Department will also host a student tailgate for the second straight year, rewarding UI students who arrive early and line up outside of Gate B. The tailgate will feature free food, giveaways, games, and more before every home game.
While the exact schedule of events is yet to be finalized, fans of the Hawkeyes should note that this year’s ANF Game Day presented by Iowa Farm Bureau is set for Saturday, Sept. 19, when Iowa entertains Pittsburgh in the first of two night games to be staged at Kinnick Stadium.
“We were thrilled to have two of our home games selected for prime time for many reasons including the fact that it meant we would have lots of time to celebrate Hayden Fry and ANF, and Iowa’s and America’s farmers,” said Klatt.
“ANF Game Day has always been one of our busiest on plaza and I have no doubt it will be again this year. The highlight, of course, is the opportunity to meet the latest addition to the ANF Wall of Honor. That former Hawkeye will join others in the ANF tent where they’ll sign autographs, take pictures, and help us tell the story about all the important work being done by farmers.”
In addition to live music being added to the plaza on game days, the UI Athletics Department has also been working with its official concessionaire on the opportunity to make food items available for purchase. Blackstone, a locally-owned restaurants located on the east side of Iowa City, will provide samples of its offerings at the season opener. 30hop, a new business in the Iowa River Landing area of Coralville, and other locally-owned restaurants are expected to provide samples or sell their food items at the remaining six home games.
The Iowa Hawkeyes open the 2015 season on Saturday, Sept. 5, against Illinois State in the first of seven games at historic Kinnick Stadium. Season, three-game mini-season, single game and UI student season tickets are currently on sale. To make a purchase or for more information call 1-800 IA-HAWKS. The Iowa football program will stage its annual Kids Day on Saturday, Aug. 15. Details on this year’s event will be available next week.