Kinnick Stadium to open for movie night

BY GRACE PATERAS | MAY 08, 2015 5:00 AM

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Up until 5 p.m. today, community members can vote among three movies and choose what will be shown at Kinnick Stadium one night this summer.

The University of Iowa Athletics Department will host the first ever “Movie Night at Kinnick,” in which fans can bring blankets for the turf and enjoy a movie shown on a large screen.

“We’re always looking for opportunities for fans to have great experiences in our athletics facilities,” said Lisa Pearson, the UI athletics marketing director. “We know Kinnick is a place fans want to be in.”

The event will take place on June 27, and admission is free for students, community members, and fans.

Pearson said basic concessions such as soft drinks, water, popcorn, candy, and nachos will be sold.

Though Pearson said this event is geared toward families, officials will look at the demographics afterwards, which might influence future events.

“We might do a double feature [in future years], with a kid-oriented movie first and an adult-oriented movie following,” she said.

This year, the public was given three options to vote on: Remember the Titans, Field of Dreams, and Big Hero 6.

UI freshman Stephen Kruse attended a dodge-ball event on Kinnick earlier this month. He said he and his friends have talked about going to the stadium again for the upcoming movie night.

“I’m not a big fan of those movies,” he said. “I don’t really care which one is picked. I’d still go no matter which one gets chosen.”

Since the event is free, it will be hard to tell how many attendees Kinnick Stadium can expect. Pearson said the department hopes for more than 3,000 this year.

One Facebook group created for the event has 3,100 people who replied they would attend the event as of Thursday evening.

UI freshman Molly DeBrock saw the event when she was scrolling through her Facebook feed.

“I think it would be an awesome event,” she said. “I think it would definitely interest students.”
“Movie Night at Kinnick” isn’t the first time a Big Ten school has hosted a similar event.

Schools such as the University of Illinois-Champaign and University of Wisconsin-Madison have provided movie nights on their football fields.

Drew Pittner-Smith, the assistant director of marketing for Wisconsin’s Athletics Department, said Wisconsin started its event during the summer of 2013.

Camp Randall Stadium, at the time, had a new video board that department officials wanted to showcase.

“After that first year, we decided it should be something we continue every summer,” Pittner-Smith said. “It’s a good [public-relations] piece for us.”

At last year’s event, community members voted on The LEGO Movie, which Pittner-Smith said is a good indication that these events are more family-based.

Like “Movie Night at Kinnick,” Wisconsin officials offer free admission for fans.

“It’s common for Big Ten schools to open their field up,” Pittner-Smith said. “[It helps] grow a fan base.”

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