Officials at the University of Iowa have announced plans to help football fans beat the heat this Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. Temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-90s in Iowa City when the Hawkeyes kickoff their season at 2:42 p.m. against Northern Illinois. Steve Roe, communications director for U-of-I athletics, is advising tailgaters to hydrate with nonalcoholic beverages before the game.
“But, once inside Kinnick Stadium, there will be different options available – including cooling stations in each of the four corners of the stadium,” Roe says. “They’ll be tents for shade, with misting stations and cold towels or cloths for fans that are feeling overheated.” In addition, Roe says they’ve rescinded a stadium rule which only allows fans to bring in one unopened bottle of water.
“Fans will be able to bring in any number of filled water bottles for their use,” Roe says. Fans will also be able to purchase bottles of water in the stadium for $2. That’s half the normal price of $4. Additional paramedics will be “on call” prior to the game and Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the UI Recreation Building, and the UI Field House will be open for fans to cool off in beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Roe says it’s been nearly two decades since Iowa has played a home football game in the kind of temperatures that are forecast for this weekend. “The most recent home date that would’ve been anywhere near what is projected for Saturday was in 1994, the Iowa/Iowa State game, we had a temperature of 102 degrees,” Roe said.
Iowa won that game 37-9. Iowa State also opens their season at home on Saturday. Northern Iowa visits Ames for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Because the game is at night, ISU officials are not planning to set up misting stations like they are at Kinnick. But, ISU sports information director Mike Green says they’ve ordered 26,000 bottles of water for the game.
During all of last season, 38,000 water bottles were sold at ISU games in Jack Trice Stadium. Green says fans can bring in one unopened water bottle and it can be refilled at drinking fountains.