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Toughest Venues: #5 Kinnick Stadium

Submitted by on May 22, 200838 Comments

If you are an opposing team and you have to play at Iowa, take a second look at the kickoff time and pray it isn’t a night game. If you thought Kinnick is loud in the day, it is like a hornets nest at night. Teams often go into an Iowa game ranked and return home defeated.

ATTENDANCE: 7

Kinnick Stadium (Capacity: 70,585)
Home Games Overall attendance Avg. attendance/ game
2007 6 423,510 70,585
2006 7 494,095 70,586
2005 6 423,510 70,585
2004 6 422,382 70,397
2003 7 460,584 65,798

Over the past 5 seasons, Iowa has had success in averaging a capacity crowd in its last 4 seasons despite mediocre results on the field. Entering the 2007 season, Iowa had 24 straight sellouts of Kinnick Stadium only to average capacity crowds at all 6 of their home games in 2008.

Kinnick is no picnic to sell out either. With 70,585 seats, it is one of the 20 largest stadiums in collegiate football. And with incredible fan support over the years, Iowa is a mainstay in the top-25 in attendance each year.

When full, Kinnick Stadium becomes the fifth-largest city in Iowa (behind Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Sioux City)

TRADITION/HISTORY: 5

The only national title Iowa claims is the disputed one in 1958. The Hawkeyes finished the season ranked #2 in the AP poll behind LSU in a vote taken before the bowl games. After their Rose Bowl win over California, the Football Writers of America awarded their national championship trophy, the Grantland Rice Award to Iowa.

11-time Big Ten champions, Iowa has definitely made its mark on the conference, but still lacks the resume boasted by the conference powerhouses. This is not to say they have no history whatsoever. 1 Heisman winner, 21 consensus All-Americans, and 219 NFL draft picks (including 16 first rounders), there is plenty of Hawkeye history to go around.

FANS: 7

Ever wonder why taxi cabs are painted yellow? So you can notice one coming around the corner a mile away. Now take that strategy and apply it to a rabid fan base all decked out in yellow and black. Not the mild, toned down maize version of yellow, but the yellow color just short of fluorescent.

One of the most rabid fan bases in the nation, Iowa thoroughly enjoys its home field advantage.
When the yellow and black clad fans fill Kinnick Stadium, the entire place glows under the stadium lights as if the teams were playing inside a bee hive. Compliment that with the fans clad in black dispersed among them, the fans in yellow seem even brighter in contrast. A sight of a entire stadium in yellow is absolutely stunning.

Like taxi cabs in New York City, you can see Hawkeye fans coming around the corner a mile away
Even at away games, where Big Ten venues are filled with home team colors, Iowa fans stand out in their bright yellow apparel.

As with every rabid fan base, you’ll find those fans that are eager to assault visiting fans at every opportunity. Stories of lit cigarette butts being thrown onto the field at opposing teams’ sidelines are not surprising to those who have visited Kinnick. While most are ultimately welcoming, it is just safer for visiting fans to stay in larger groups.

VENUE: 8

The four sided venue is an architectural marvel as it takes the traditional bowl layout of a stadium and transforms it into a box. Not only does create an suffocating environment for visiting teams as fans are literally right next to you on all sides of the field, but aids in Iowa’s famous I-O-W-A cheer where each section repeats their letter in succession after each other.

From the lockers to the urinals, everything is pink in the visitor\'s locker room.
Then theres the famous pink locker rooms. We’re not talking pink paint on the lockers and benches. In addition to those, the visiting team’s locker room is completely decorated in pink, including the urinals. Hayden Fry concocted the idea after he learned that pink suppresses aggressive and hostile behavior during his years studying psychology at Baylor University.

WIN/LOSS RECORD: 7

Home Away
W L W vs ranked L vs ranked W L W vs ranked L vs ranked
2007 4 2 #18 Illinois - 1 4 - #9 Wisconsin
2006 4 3 - #1 Ohio St
#16 Wisconsin
2 3 - #2 Michigan
2005 5 1 - - 2 3 #19 Wisconsin #8 Ohio St
2004 5 0 #23 Ohio St - 4 2 #9 Wisconsin #18 Michigan
2003 7 0 #15 Miami (OH)
#4 Michigan
#20 Minnesota
- 2 3 - #6 Ohio St
#13 Purdue
overall 25 6 5 2 13 15 2 6

Didn’t believe me when I described Kinnick as a hornets nest? 7 ranked teams have ventured into Iowa City in the past 5 years. 5 of them took their charter flights back home losers to the Hawkeyes. The only 2 that ever made it out of Kinnick intact were the #1 ranked Buckeyes and #16 ranked Badgers, and both losses were during the 2006, 6-6 Iowa season.

Up until now there has been no greater example of a home field advantage than Kinnick Stadium. The facts speak for themselves. When the Hawkeyes have a 71% success rate against ranked opponents at home, you bet theres a home field advantage.

TOTAL: 34 OUT OF POSSIBLE 55

Have you attended a game at Kinnick Stadium? Let us know how your experience went. Your memories of the venue might differ greatly from our perspective and we would like to know.

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  • speedomike

    I’m going to the PSU-Iowa game this year. I was thinking it’d probably be a win and the fans wouldn’t be too hostile, but now I’m slightly frightened.

  • speedomike

    I’m going to the PSU-Iowa game this year. I was thinking it’d probably be a win and the fans wouldn’t be too hostile, but now I’m slightly frightened.

  • psu86

    I agree with the yellow clad fans being menacing. I was at the PSU Iowa game last year (in happy valley) and my wife and I stumbled into a bar downtown that had been taken over by rowdy Iowa fans, they were a little drunk and a little sore over losing (their QB made AM look like a star) so we enjoyed our beers with a subdued conversation and little eye contact. Also, not to be a smart ass, but in your ranking this should be number 5. Otherwise great reviews so far.

  • psu86

    I agree with the yellow clad fans being menacing. I was at the PSU Iowa game last year (in happy valley) and my wife and I stumbled into a bar downtown that had been taken over by rowdy Iowa fans, they were a little drunk and a little sore over losing (their QB made AM look like a star) so we enjoyed our beers with a subdued conversation and little eye contact. Also, not to be a smart ass, but in your ranking this should be number 5. Otherwise great reviews so far.

  • nate

    i dont know much about either michigan or kinnick stadium (and maybe it has to do with W-L records) but i think i would be more intimidated by going to Kinnick than mich. stadium, and am surprised by placing kinnick higher than michigan stadium. from what i’ve heard ann arbor (is a whore) the field is dug down and the stadium doesn’t hold noise very well. then again this isnt my forum, so what i say doesn’t matter…haha

  • nate

    i dont know much about either michigan or kinnick stadium (and maybe it has to do with W-L records) but i think i would be more intimidated by going to Kinnick than mich. stadium, and am surprised by placing kinnick higher than michigan stadium. from what i’ve heard ann arbor (is a whore) the field is dug down and the stadium doesn’t hold noise very well. then again this isnt my forum, so what i say doesn’t matter…haha

  • http://quebecpenspinning.com/ Charlie

    I would be more intimidated by Kinnick as well, but the numbers put Kinnick below Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines just seem to win at home. But if I had to pick away games, I’d pick playing away at Michigan Stadium over Kinnick any day.

  • admin

    I would be more intimidated by Kinnick as well, but the numbers put Kinnick below Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines just seem to win at home. But if I had to pick away games, I’d pick playing away at Michigan Stadium over Kinnick any day.

  • speedomike

    no chance Iowa fans took over a bar in State College. Unless it was Chumleys

  • speedomike

    no chance Iowa fans took over a bar in State College. Unless it was Chumleys

  • poguemahone

    You must be faced with a pretty serious dilemma. Pick the Beav #1 and be accused of homerism, pick the Shoe and be Benedict Arnold to Nittany Nation.

    We can probably agree Michigan Stadium has jingled its keys into the # 3 spot, right?

  • poguemahone

    You must be faced with a pretty serious dilemma. Pick the Beav #1 and be accused of homerism, pick the Shoe and be Benedict Arnold to Nittany Nation.

    We can probably agree Michigan Stadium has jingled its keys into the # 3 spot, right?

  • http://quebecpenspinning.com/ Charlie

    It was tough, but the top 4 may surprise some people.

  • admin

    It was tough, but the top 4 may surprise some people.

  • nate

    im calling

    #4 Michigan
    #3 Wisconsin
    #2 Penn State
    #1 Ohio State

    unfortunately the record is probably what makes it, putting ohio better than us

  • nate

    im calling

    #4 Michigan
    #3 Wisconsin
    #2 Penn State
    #1 Ohio State

    unfortunately the record is probably what makes it, putting ohio better than us

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I think it has to be Camp Randall. Wisconsin is good and that stadium is amongst the loudest in the nation considering it holds about 20,000 less than Beaver and Ohio Stadiums.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I think it has to be Camp Randall. Wisconsin is good and that stadium is amongst the loudest in the nation considering it holds about 20,000 less than Beaver and Ohio Stadiums.

  • Third_Generation_Hawk

    Don’t be afraid of us, speedomike. As much noise as we make (which is a hell of a lot for 70,000 fans with no upper deck) and as much trash as we talk, we’re pretty tolerant of visiting fans. We love our football, and we love people who love football. I was in the Iowa student section (The “I” in the I-O-W-A) during the last Wisconsin game at home, and there were a surprising amount of Wisconsin fans actually in the Iowa student section. Some of them were pretty obnoxious, and they got some death stares and a few taunts, but for the most part we’re there to cheer on the HAWKS!! Then again I do recall a student chucking a half full to-go cup of coffee at a group of Michigan fans while waiting to enter the student section.

    And we may be more humble after losing our last game at home to Western Michigan last season, a four win MAC team. On Seniors’ Day. With a bowl bid on the line. At night.

    Or maybe we’ll be more angry…

  • Third_Generation_Hawk

    Don’t be afraid of us, speedomike. As much noise as we make (which is a hell of a lot for 70,000 fans with no upper deck) and as much trash as we talk, we’re pretty tolerant of visiting fans. We love our football, and we love people who love football. I was in the Iowa student section (The “I” in the I-O-W-A) during the last Wisconsin game at home, and there were a surprising amount of Wisconsin fans actually in the Iowa student section. Some of them were pretty obnoxious, and they got some death stares and a few taunts, but for the most part we’re there to cheer on the HAWKS!! Then again I do recall a student chucking a half full to-go cup of coffee at a group of Michigan fans while waiting to enter the student section.

    And we may be more humble after losing our last game at home to Western Michigan last season, a four win MAC team. On Seniors’ Day. With a bowl bid on the line. At night.

    Or maybe we’ll be more angry…

  • Anonymous

    I am a Hawk fan, but I can say without a doubt that Kinnick Stadium is far louder and more intimidating than Michigan. I’ve been to two Iowa games at Michigan. It is very big, and it was fun to just be at the “Big House”, but it is far from intimidating. Maybe it will be different after their renovation.

  • Anonymous

    I am a Hawk fan, but I can say without a doubt that Kinnick Stadium is far louder and more intimidating than Michigan. I’ve been to two Iowa games at Michigan. It is very big, and it was fun to just be at the “Big House”, but it is far from intimidating. Maybe it will be different after their renovation.

  • Californialion

    I loved Kinnick Stadium. I thought Iowa fans were great both before, during and after the game (Iowa beat us that day so perhaps that helped). It is hard to compare crowd noice from one stadium to the other but it was as loud as any stadium that I recall.

    I have been to 8 of the 10 opposing Big Ten stadiums (have not made it to Purdue or Indiana yet). From my experiences I would rate them as follows:

    1) Ohio State
    2) Wisconsin
    3) Iowa
    4) Michigan State
    5) Michigan
    6) Illinois
    7) Northwestern
    8) Minnesota

  • http://? Californialion

    I loved Kinnick Stadium. I thought Iowa fans were great both before, during and after the game (Iowa beat us that day so perhaps that helped). It is hard to compare crowd noice from one stadium to the other but it was as loud as any stadium that I recall.

    I have been to 8 of the 10 opposing Big Ten stadiums (have not made it to Purdue or Indiana yet). From my experiences I would rate them as follows:

    1) Ohio State
    2) Wisconsin
    3) Iowa
    4) Michigan State
    5) Michigan
    6) Illinois
    7) Northwestern
    8) Minnesota

  • Lee Maros

    visiting our grandaughter Jamie Hansen we attended our 1st ever college football game Hawkeyes vs Penn State 11/8/2008- score 24 Iowa 23 Penn State what an awesome,awesome game – we cheered til we were hoarse – we cried tears of joy for the team, the students and for us to have the luck to be at such agreat game.

  • Lee Maros

    visiting our grandaughter Jamie Hansen we attended our 1st ever college football game Hawkeyes vs Penn State 11/8/2008- score 24 Iowa 23 Penn State what an awesome,awesome game – we cheered til we were hoarse – we cried tears of joy for the team, the students and for us to have the luck to be at such agreat game.

  • John

    Well, since Iowa beat #2 Penn State –ruining it’s season — I guess we have to raise the rank of Kinnick. No?

  • John

    Well, since Iowa beat #2 Penn State –ruining it’s season — I guess we have to raise the rank of Kinnick. No?

  • jer

    kinnick is 3
    beaver is 2
    ohio is 1

  • jer

    kinnick is 3
    beaver is 2
    ohio is 1

  • Name

    “Probably be a win.” …or a season-crushing loss for Penn State. : )

  • Name

    Great report – from a homesick Hawkeye :)

  • HawkeyesRule

    11 big ten championships might not mean much to ohio state or michigan but its more than penn state can say they have

  • HawkeyesRule

    and i dont see how you can put camp randall ahead of kinnick wisky gets blown out of their own house all the time happened many times last season. iowa has never been intimidated by camp randall we always seem to play very well there just like beaver stadium

  • HawkeyesRule

    11 big ten championships might not mean much to ohio state or michigan but its more than penn state can say they have

  • HawkeyesRule

    and i dont see how you can put camp randall ahead of kinnick wisky gets blown out of their own house all the time happened many times last season. iowa has never been intimidated by camp randall we always seem to play very well there just like beaver stadium

  • jtc

    i’m going to be new for the 2010-2011 season for the iowa hawkeyes, and im just wondering, what section is the main student section? i know u said the “I” in I-O-W-A…but what does that mean? the Iowa printed in the touchdown?

  • Brett

    The student section is in the south end zone. After touchdowns, the cheerleaders wave flags (one each with “I” “O” “W” and “A”) and each section of the stadium yells out their assigned letters in turn. So the student section will yell “I,” then fans along one sideline will yell “O,” fans in the north end zone will yell “W” and fans along the other sideline will yell “A” over and over again.