South end zone project scheduled to complete close to season opener


Matthew Rezab/Iowa State Daily

The view from just outside the upper-level of the Sukup End Zone Club at Jack Trice Stadium. Workers are now installing seat frames as part of the $60 million project closing the south end of the stadium.

Luke Manderfeld

As the new season of ISU football approaches, the Jack Trice Stadium south end zone project also finds its completion date fast approaching.

The Sukup End Zone Club is scheduled for an Aug. 11 opening, while the seating below the club is scheduled to be completed Aug. 24.

The two levels of the Sukup End Zone Club are connected by a staircase in the middle of the club.

The upper level has a large viewing window to see the field and the game below. The lower level will have multiple televisions for the fans to view many football games at once, but there are no windows for the fans to view the game.

Chris Jorgensen, director of Facilities, Planning and Management for the ISU Athletic Department, said the school was going for a sports bar feel with the club.

Both the upper and lower levels are 20,000 square feet apiece with a 5,000 square-foot kitchen.

“Everybody’s excited,” Jorgensen said. “The south end zone project is something that has been discussed for 25 years.”

The Cyclones will take on the Northern Iowa Panthers for an in-state matchup for their first game with the renovations at 7 p.m. Sept. 5.

The Sukup South End Zone Club will be the only place in the stadium where alcoholic beverages are permitted.

The new scoreboard will be the same size as the one on the north side of the stadium — 150 feet by 36 feet.

What may be the most exciting aspect of the project for ISU fans is the additional seating to boost Jack Trice Stadium’s attendance above 60,000, making it the third largest stadium in the Big 12. The number will rise from 56,800 to 61,000, with the lower bowl adding 3,000 seats.

The Texas Longhorns currently lead the Big 12, with a stadium capacity of 100,119. Three renovations for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech’s stadiums along with a brand new stadium for Baylor has brought Big 12 football up in stature. Iowa State is now part of that discussion.

“We’re all excited about it, just like everyone in the Big 12 will tell you, they’re excited,” Jorgensen said. “There’s a lot going on conference-wide.”

The stadium renovations won’t stop with the south end zone project.

Jorgensen said the Athletic Department plans to start Phase 2 of the expansion, which focuses on the parking lots near Reiman Gardens. Plans for Phase 2 are scheduled to be completed about the time the first phase of the south end zone project is completed in August. Jorgensen said the plans include a change in scenery.

The expansion may not stop there.

“You guys know Jamie [Pollard] that he’s always thinking and brainstorming on what the next step is going to be,” Jorgensen said, adding that there is nothing officially in the works. “But I think we are always trying to think one step ahead.”