The Bubble to be deflated Friday

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa football team's longtime indoor practice facility, dubbed the Bubble for its distinct air-inflated fabric construction, is set to be deflated on Friday morning.

A press release from the Athletics Department said the deflation will take place at 9:30 a.m.

The Bubble has served as Iowa's indoor facility since 1985 — despite being designed to last only 10 to 12 years — and it has also hosted various Iowa athletics camps and intramural sports events.

Former UI Sports Information Director George Wine said in a release that the facility was promised to former coach Hayden Fry when he was hired in the late-1970s, but the project kept getting put off as the economy dipped.

"He basically said, 'I get that practice facility, or I'm gone.' I think it was approved right after that and completed in a relatively short period of time," Wine said in the release.

The UI is in the process of building the Bubble's replacement, which will be more of a traditional structure than its inflated predecessor. Ground was broken last fall, and the building is expected to be completed and ready sometime early this fall.

The ground on which the Bubble stood will be turned into a parking lot, a release said.

— by Seth Roberts

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