ISU football fans to experience congestion at Jack Trice Stadium


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Due to construction at Jack Trice Stadium, parking will be limited in some spots as well as limited seating in the stadium in the south end zone area.

Beau Berkley

With a $60 million project to close off the south end zone well underway at Jack Trice Stadium, fans might have to deal with a few inconveniences throughout the season. 

Parking, gate entry, traffic flow and portions of seating will all operate differently than in past seasons as construction crews will work throughout the fall to complete plate and foundation work before the ground freezes.

According to a press release from the athletic department, the construction site itself takes up a portion of lot S2 on the south side, which eliminates more than 100 parking spaces. To accommodate fans, there will be 160 disabled parking spaces at lots S2 and S3 available to the public on a first come, first serve basis.

Entrances on the south side will also be more congested than usual. Paths inside Gate Three will give south end zone and south hillside ticket owners access to their seats, but for fans with seats not on the south end of the stadium, Gate Four on the west side of the stadium and Gate Two on the east side of the stadium will serve as the most efficient way to get to seats.

There will not be a ticket trailer at the south end to purchase tickets this season, but fans can still purchase tickets at the trailer near Gate Five on the north end.

Chris Jorgensen, senior associate athletic director, said that developing gameday plans for parking and getting fans in and out of the stadium safely were among the first things that were discussed back when construction began.

“I feel like we have a good plan in place and I think we will learn a lot after the first home opener, as we do with any home game,” Jorgensen said. “There’s always things we learn and change and I’m sure what we’re doing at the south end won’t be any different.”

The project’s planned completion date is Aug. 15, 2015, three weeks before the 2015 home opener against Northern Iowa. Capacity for the stadium is set to be around 61,000, which would make it the third biggest in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma, which seats 82,112, and Texas, which has a capacity of 100,119.

Before the stadium can expand, it must shrink a little bit. Jorgensen said that about 2,000 seats have been lost due to the construction.

“You hate to lose capacity from your football ticket sales, but it was one of the things that needed to happen in order to keep construction on course for a fall 2015 completion date,” Jorgensen said.

By the last two games of the season, the seats on the south hillside will be completely eliminated. Jorgensen said that fans with tickets in the section will be accommodated with new seating, either with seats near the visitors section on the southwest corner or with seats on the north hillside.

President Steven Leath said that most fans will be excited at the idea of their stadium expanding despite the minor inconveniences.

“There’s a lot of Iowa Staters who over the last 20 years have heard about the possibility of bowling in that south end of the stadium and some wondered if it would ever happen,” Leath said. “I think when the fans come and see cranes and everything that’s going on, they’ll look past the inconveniences.”