Football team, games draw student support

Jake Calhoun

The arrival of students to the campus of Iowa State in late August marks the nearing of the beginning of the season for ISU football.

By September, Jack Trice Stadium becomes the focus of attention for ISU fans when the Cyclones kick off their much-anticipated season.

Cyclone football games at Jack Trice have had an average attendance of 45,658 since 1975, averaging 47,202 since 2005.

Jack Trice Stadium seats 55,000. However, the largest crowd ever recorded was 56,795 on Sept. 8, 2007, when Iowa State lost to Northern Iowa, 24-13.

The student section, which requires student ticket purchase, is designated as sections 28 through 32 as well as upper-level sections P, Q, R and S, all of which sit at the Northeast corner of the stadium.

Students in the numbered sections are typically found standing when the game is in session, while those in the lettered sections sit during the game.

Some students even paint their bodies in the spirit of cheering for the Cyclones.

“We do it because we have a lot of pride for Iowa State,” said Jason Kienast, junior in agronomy. “It also makes us feel a little more a part of the atmosphere at those games.”

Kienast and his friends attend home games regularly and stand in the first row of one of the students sections with their bodies painted to resemble ISU football jerseys, numbers and stripes included.

“I guess it’s pretty cool to hear from friends and family when they say ‘Hey we saw you all painted up and you looked pretty cool,'” said Kienast, who is usually seen with the number 47 painted on him to represent junior linebacker A.J. Klein.

New this year is the high-definition video board, which will sit above the Jacobson Athletic Building on the north end of the stadium and will see completion in August.

“The impact of this structure on our football program is hard to quantify, but its size, quality and versatility will significantly enhance Jack Trice Stadium,” said ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard in a news release. “Beyond a significant upgrade of entertainment possibilities, it also helps us maximize marketing potential within the stadium.”

The $5 million project that was approved by the Board of Regents in October 2010 will have a video display of 36 feet in height and 79.5 feet in width; replacing the current video board on the south end of the field purchased in 2002.