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Know your campus: A facility that wears many hats

BY CHRIS CLARK | MARCH 30, 2009 7:40 AM

The Field House has hosted a variety of events and student activities since it opened in 1927.

Although it was made for all members of the UI community, students held protests around the time of its construction, according to a 2003 article in The Daily Iowan. The DI reported that intercollegiate sports teams dominated the use of the facility, despite $3 million of funding allocated from student fees.

The Field House pool is home to the Iowa swimming and diving team, touted as the world’s largest indoor pool at the time of its construction, according to the article. The gymnastics teams also use the Field House for their meets.

In addition to housing Hawkeye sports teams, the Field House offers everyday fitness opportunities for UI students. It serves as the UI’s main campus wellness center, giving students a track, basketball court, rock climbing wall, and workout center. The Fitness Loft, located on the fifth floor, serves as a popular place for students to use weightlifting equipment, cardiovascular machines, and free weights.

Starting in 1997, the UI has hosted Night Games in the Field House. Students who attend the events have free access to all of the equipment, and they can enjoy free pizza, snacks and beverages.

But the Field House has uses beyond just athletics.

In 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama hosted a campaign rally to try to encourage students to get involved in the Iowa caucus. According to a DI article, the rally drew a crowd of hundreds, mainly made up of UI students.

At the rally, Obama stressed the importance of the youth vote, especially in the caucuses, and told the DI he had faith the youth would turn out and vote.

The Field House has also hosted concerts for UI students; OAR played for a crowd of students in the fall 2006.

“SCOPE is always looking for different venues,” said Clark Bradshaw, SCOPE’s public-relations marketing coordinator. “It holds close to 3,000 students. So, we like to use it for bigger names, bigger bands.”

SCOPE will host the band 311 at the Field House on April 18.


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