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Iowa State Daily

The return to Hilton

Liz Zabel

Following a homecoming weekend spoiled at the hands of Kansas football, Iowa State sports fans look forward to the coming of a new basketball season at the historic Hilton Coliseum. 

The Iowa State men’s basketball team was able to cruise to an 85-44 victory against the Green Bay Phoenix in its first game back at Hilton. The season debut showcased a variety of freshman talent including first looks at five-star recruit Omaha Biliew and four-star Milan Momcilovic, who chalked up 18 points, shooting 6-7 behind the arc in his collegiate debut. The Cyclones’ offense took full control of the game shooting 47% from the field and 44.4% from long-range.

“I’m very excited to see how this team progresses with the new freshman class,” Cade Rosacker, a lifelong Cyclone fan and junior in finance, said. “I think the team is going to be very good and definitely a Big 12 contender.”

While the Cyclones’ new high-powered offense may be unrecognizable from previous seasons, much of the Hilton experience is expected to remain the same for the coming year.

The north student doors will continue to open 90 minutes prior to tip-off for those holding student tickets. All other fans, including students with reserved tickets, will be allowed to enter one hour before game time. 

“I wish that they would open more than one entrance for students before the games, ” Joseph Johnson, Iowa State season ticket holder and junior in marketing, said. “A lot of the time I have to walk all the way around the stadium and end up having to sit further back.”

Hilton Coliseum staff will continue to enforce Iowa State Athletics’ clear bag policy. A complete list of bag regulations and prohibited items can be found on

Cyclone fans can also expect to see some changes this year, both small and large. 

Iowa State Athletics has installed new flooring at Hilton Coliseum for this year’s season. The old flooring was used from 2020 through the end of last season. Fans had the opportunity to purchase a piece of Cyclone history as Iowa State Athletics allowed fans to purchase 12-by-12-inch floor boards, varying from $50 to $100 per piece, depending on the pieces’ type, color and location on the court. Each board came along with a QR code that could be scanned to view the board’s court location. 

The sale went live at 10 a.m. Nov. 6, but Cyclone fans ultimately led the site to crash due to a high volume of customers attempting to checkout. Users were met with a message on the ISU Surplus website stating:

“Due to ongoing issues with our payment processor, we’re going to reopen the store at a later date after some revisions. Stay tuned for an announcement regarding that. None of the available sections have sold out, and they will all be available when we do go live again.”

Website crashes are not the only thing perturbing Cyclone fans this year. Many are upset with the recent uptick in concession prices. A fan favorite, the walking taco, is now priced at $10.99, up $4 from 2017.

“I think a lot of the concessions are overpriced,” Johnson said. “I know most stadiums charge a lot for concessions but I think it’s deterred a lot of students from buying food at games.”

Through all of its changes, Hilton Coliseum will remain an electric atmosphere for students and other Cyclone fanatics. 

“My favorite part about the Hilton experience is rushing down to your seat after the doors open and watching the pregame intros, they do a really good job with production,” Rosacker said.

Rosacker has attended every home basketball game since coming to Iowa State in 2021. 

“I’ve been coming to games with my family my whole life,” Carter Patterson, a lifelong Cyclone fan and junior in event management, said.

Some of Patterson’s favorite memories of Cyclone basketball include traveling with his family to Kansas City to watch the Big 12 Championships and watching Iowa State knock off No. 1 Oklahoma in 2016.

“It’s always such a nostalgic feeling for me since I’ve been coming to games with my family since I was in diapers,” Patterson said.

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