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Officials propose changes to football parking

BY ALISON KEIM | JANUARY 28, 2014 5:00 AM

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For nine Saturdays every fall, more than 70,000 fans surge into historic Kinnick Stadium. On those Saturdays, the fans also pour into the parking lots surrounding the stadium, and University of Iowa officials are working with the National I-Club to relieve the Black and Gold chaos.

In an effort to efficiently use the available spaces, fans who have made an annual contribution to the National I-Club and season-ticket holders will have the opportunity to indicate their first, second, and third parking-lot preferences.

“I think what it will do is it will allow us to efficiently use the parking lots and make it safer because we will have an opportunity to control some of the issues that we had in the past,” said Paula Jantz, an associate athletics director. “This is an opportunity to make it better than it has been.”

In addition to finding a solution for parking, one of the main reasons for the decision is to attempt to keep the community safer and create a more enjoyable experience for all attendees.

The UI takes action each season to create a safe environment, however officials believe parking has been a recurring issue.

“The university, as a whole, has reoccurring concerns every football season, which we attempt to address by informing the public so they can enhance their game-day experience, which includes matters of safety,” said Charles Green, the assistant vice president for the UI police.

Once fans select their initial preferences, the Athletics Department will make parking-lot assignments based on their Iowa football priority point total, which is available to people who donate and season-ticket holders and the amount of space available. The assignment will last the entire season.

“This was an opportunity to upgrade and enhance our parking,” Jantz said. “We added a new contribution level; we are also going through a reseating of Kinnick Stadium, and so we felt like this was a great opportunity to make some changes and make it more enhanced and efficient.”

The most significant change will be for fans who make an annual contribution to the National I-Club. By contributing $15,000 or more, prior to June 30, the fans will qualify for membership in the Kinnick Society Gold level of giving. These fans will have the opportunity to purchase up to two assigned reserved parking spaces.

There will be no change in fees for parking; the fee will remain $100 for automobiles and $300 for recreational vehicles. When parking is paid for on game day, the fee is $29 for an automobile, $50 for an RV, and $100 for a bus.

Officials also hope that the parking changes will solve traffic issues that occurred last season.

“In years past, if you had a permit, you had a number of parking lots you could go to with that permit,” said Jim Sayre, associate director of UI Parking and Transportation. “One of the problems on game day is if you drove to that lot, and that lot was full, you’d go to the next one. It created an operational problem in the moment, it contributed a little bit to traffic congestion and overall general frustration for the attendees who were there to park.”


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