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The Tailgater’s Guide to Iowa City, Revised 2021 Edition

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Whether you’ve been coming to Iowa City for years or are in town for your first game, we’re diving in to everything you need to make your Hawkeye gameday experience enjoyable.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Iowa
Kinnick Stadium at night is a special environment, but it doesn’t need to be a night game to have a tremendous time in Iowa City.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Tailgater’s Guide to Iowa City was first published in fall of 2017. Each year, we build on that original guide with updates, additions and revisions as appropriate. If you have thoughts, tips or tricks you use, please share them in the comments below. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but this great community has a wealth of knowledge that could be tremendously helpful to someone making the trek.

If you are making the trip to Iowa City either for the first time or the first time in a while, be sure to check out hawkeyesports.com/footballgameday for the latest information about tailgating policies, road closures and more.


Football season is nearly here again and for the first time in 651 days, fans are set to be inside of Kinnick Stadium again come September 4th. With such a length of time since anyone not related to players and staff was in the stadium, it’s the perfect time to dive back in to all the details you need to know for your trip to Iowa City and Kinnick Stadium.

A word of warning: there is a LOT of information that follows. Generically, we’re going in chronological order from the time to head to the Iowa City to the time you leave the stadium so if you’re looking for something in particular scroll down with that in mind and search for a heading of interest.

If you’re a bit more experienced in your travels to the Mecca of college football, we’ll try to save you some time. Here are the things that have notably CHANGED since the last time fans were inside of Kinnick Stadium:

  • The Hawkeye Express, which used to run from Coralville to the steps of Kinnick on game days, is no longer in operation. If you historically parked and rode the train over, you’ll want to check out the logistics section below and scope out other parking options.
  • Ticketing is now entirely digital. Yours truly sure liked the physical tickets and the ability to keep the ones from key games (say, Ohio State 2017 or the first game my son attended with me), but now you’ll need to snag a screen shot of your phone or something if you want to turn that into a keepsake. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got your ticket downloaded and added to your mobile wallet before you’re anywhere near the stadium given the spotty cell service when 100,000 people end up within a few blocks of each other.
  • Speaking of going away from the paper, Kinnick is officially done with paper money this year as well. If you’re typically the type of person that carries cash (I’ve been told cash is king), feel free to leave it at home in 2021. All concessions and parking will be cashless going forward. It’s also probably safe to assume that means lines are going to move a little slower than in years past given each transaction now has to process on a card reader.
  • Alcohol is now available inside the stadium. Do with that information what you will, but a key takeaway here is the parking lot rules have changed as a result. University lots will now open six hours before kickoff, but not earlier than 6am. That’s a notable impact for afternoon and evening games. See below for additional details.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes.

LODGING

If you’re planning to head to Iowa City for more than a day trip, you’ve got to do some planning. There are myriad hotels popping up all over the area, but most will fill up well in advance of game day and almost all are going to require a two night stay at rates that are double what they charge the rest of the year. However, it’s 2021 and given there are still concerns over COVID-19, it’s possible you can still find a room closer to game day.

Beyond budget, the biggest thing you need to decide is what is important to you in a place to stay. If you want to be in the middle of all the game day action, there’s an option for you. If you want to be right on the main campus and close to bars and restaurants, there are options for you. If you’d rather have an easy entry and exit from town, there are options for you. And if you really just want a cheap bed to lay your head down on, there are options for you.

Let’s take a look by location.

STADIUM ADJACENT

Historically, there have been no hotels in University Heights - the section of Iowa City that’s home to Kinnick Stadium, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the hospital and a few thousand residents. That’s changed since the last time you came to town for a game.

Now, virtually right across the street from Kinnick Stadium sits a Courtyard by Marriott. It’s just off of Melrose Avenue and less than a block west of the stadium. If being close to the game and tailgating is your goal, there’s no beating this option.

As of this writing, rooms are still available, though they are north of $370 per night. The hotel features one restaurant/bar (which I can verify has loads of TVs for soaking up other college football action) but is within walking distance to a handful of other dining options and will put you within a few hundred feet of yours truly come tailgating time.

DOWNTOWN IOWA CITY

On the east side of the Iowa River, there are several more options that come with a slightly longer walk to the stadium but put you into the thick of student life before and after the game.

The Graduate Hotel (fka The Sheraton) is at the epicenter of downtown Iowa City. Literally. It’s on the pedestrian mall with access from Dubuque Street by car. Historically, this was really the only major hotel chain option in the core of downtown Iowa City. That’s changed in recent years.

Just south of The Graduate you’ll now find The Element by Marriott and a Hilton Garden Inn on the corner of Clinton Street and Burlington Street, just across from Starbucks and the University of Iowa School of Music. As with The Graduate, both come with ramp parking available and will put you about a block closer to the stadium, though a block further from most of the downtown bars and restaurants.

A bit further south and east (read: further from the stadium), there’s a new Hyatt Place. You’re walk to Kinnick is going to be about three blocks longer from here and your trek to bars and restaurants is about two blocks longer than the other downtown options.

Beyond the national chains, there are a couple boutique hotels that are available in the heart of downtown Iowa City. Hotel Vetro has been around for a while and is every bit as close to the pedestrian mall as The Graduate. It sits atop the Bread Garden Market off of Linn Street, just across from the Iowa City Public Library.

A block further east is a new hotel since your last trip to town. The Hotel Chauncey sits in the new tower on Gilbert and College Streets. It has ramp parking, the building features a movie theatre and bowling alley and in the early part of the season you’ll wake up to the Iowa City Farmer’s Market in the parking ramp and street just outside your window.

CORALVILLE

If the downtown scene isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options outside the heart of Iowa City. Coralville is adjacent to Iowa City just to the west, north of University Heights.

The Iowa River Landing sits at the junction of Interstate 80 and 1st Avenue (aka Hayden Fry Way aka The Fryway) and features new restaurants and coffee shops popping up all the time, as well as the local(ish) department store Von Maur, Iowa City’s only Trader Joe’s, quick access to a branch of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the recently completed Xtream Arena, which hosts concerts, sporting events and now Iowa volleyball.

It also features a Hyatt Regency Hotel and a Homewood Suites by Hilton. Just to the south and within walking distance to all the above amenities you’ll find a relatively new Drury Inn and Suites and a Staybridge Suites. Across the Fryway, you have a Comfort Inn and Suites, a Quality Inn and a Super 7.

Venturing just north of Interstate 80 and no longer within walking distance (I suppose you could do the walk, but it’s not advisable with traffic) you’ve got the Radisson and Hampton Inn.

If you go further west in Coralville toward the I-80/I-380 interchange, you come to the Coral Ridge Mall. Beyond the mall itself, there are plenty of dining options in the area as well as several hotels. That includes a Spring Hill Suites, Residence Inn and Fairfield Inn and Suites all by Marriott. There’s also a Comfort Suites and Best Western in the same development area. All offer ease of entry and exit to the area.

BEYOND

While the influx of room capacity should mean finding a place in Iowa City is possible, if you’re having trouble you can always go a bit further outside of town. Cedar Rapids has plenty of options which are less likely to charge exorbitant rates or require a two night stay. At last check, the Iowa football team actually spent their Friday evenings on game weekends at the Kirkwood Hotel on the south end of Cedar Rapids and made the bus ride down on Saturdays (this may have changed with the addition of the new hotel across from the stadium - that’s their new home for fall camp).

There are also some smaller bed and breakfast options around town, as well as plenty of AirBnB or VRBO options around town.

LOGISTICS

So you want to go to an Iowa football game, eh? Well first things first, you gotta get there. And believe me, that’s half the battle. Iowa City may not be a big city, but it’s a growing one. That means a constant state of construction. Plan ahead to avoid major delays and frustration.

STREET CLOSURES

As already mentioned, Iowa City is in a perpetual state of construction. Fortunately for Hawkeye fans, 2021 looks relatively light on the construction front after several major projects completed in recent years. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t some things to be aware of.

The most impactful construction project currently underway is the I-80/I-380 interchange. The crossroads between the two major interstate highways is being converted from a cloverleaf to a series of flyovers. You can still make all necessary exits, but be aware there are constantly changing traffic patterns in the area and there are likely to be some modest delays as an increase in out of town traffic adds people unsure of where to be.

There is also some light utility work being completed on the northbound side of Dubuque Street in Iowa City as of this writing. That comes with some intermittent lane shifts while work is being done, but should be completed by the time we hit Iowa’s second home game at the latest.

For the most up to date construction information, be sure to check out https://511ia.org/. They’ve got the ability to set up alerts and view live traffic flow data, which may be of particular interest on game day.

In addition to the construction impacts, the University has announced some traffic adjustments around the stadium. Beginning 2.5 hours before the game through two hours after the game, Hawkins Drive east of Kinnick Stadium will close between Melrose Avenue and Evashevski Drive. Additionally, Melrose Avenue be closed to non-emergency vehicles beginning one hour prior to kick and will convert to 2 lanes for westbound (read: ZERO lanes for eastbound) vehicles for two hours after kickoff from Evashevski Drive to the point where Melrose becomes four lanes. Evashevski Drive will be closed entirely between Lot 43N Drive and Hawkins Drive on game days.

Here’s what that looks like on a map:

Image via Hawkeyesports.com

PARKING

So you’ve figured out where you want to go and how to get there without waiting 3 hours in traffic. Great. Now where are you parking your car? If you haven’t forked over the money for a reserved spot in one of the donor lots, my recommendation is to park downtown and make the walk. According to the Google machine, the walk is just under a mile and should take you roughly 20 minutes depending on your preferred pace. It’s not ideal, but you’re going to have a much easier time getting a spot, less headache trying to leave after the game, and you get to take in all the sights along the way.

This is especially true if you’re planning to soak up any of downtown Iowa City either before or after the game. There’s a Kum and Go en route (on Burlington Street - the one that use to sit at the bottom of the hill on Myrtle Ave is no longer there) to the stadium for last minute supplies/ill-advised restroom breaks, the best the UI student-body has to offer along Burlington Street, and a Riverside Drive overpass which definitely won’t collapse regardless of the massive volume of pedestrians and the swaying sensation you get crossing.

But there are those of us who, for various reasons, can’t or don’t want to walk a (literal) mile to get to the action. Luckily, there are a number of public parking options closer to the stadium provided by the University. Here’s a map:

As a reminder, the University of Iowa lots will no longer accept cash for game day parking. You can pre-purchase a parking pass to load onto your phone on HawkeyeSports.com, or pay on game day. But reminder, you’ll need a card to make the purchase. Pricing is $25 for a single game, but it’s safe to assume there will be a processing fee tacked on as well.

Beyond the U, there are also dozens of entrepreneurial locals who will gladly rent you a few square feet of their yard/driveway/anything they can find for $5-20. Leaving isn’t always as easy, but you’re not walking as far and that means more time to get to the good stuff.

WHAT TO SEE

So, you’ve decided on your preferred mode of transportation, you know where you’re parking and what streets to avoid. What is there to see once you get into town? Let’s take a look.

THE PENTACREST & OLD CAPITOL

This is it, the heart of campus. If you went to the University of Iowa, you’ve almost certainly had a class or five in one of the four buildings surrounding the Old Capitol that make up the iconic core of Iowa’s beautiful campus. The east end is adjacent to downtown Iowa City, making it a perfect spot to grab a quick picture before you head across the river for the game.

Image via iowasae.com

If you get into town early, you can scope out the Museum of Natural History at Macbride Hall. It’s not what you came for, but if you’ve got kiddos you can kill an hour checking out the sloth and other various artifacts (if you’re in Coralville killing time with the kiddos, the Iowa Children’s Museum at the Coral Ridge Mall is also a great option).

Head down the hill to the west of the Pentacrest and you’re facing the Iowa Memorial Union, Main Campus Library and about a three-quarters of a mile walk to Kinnick.

PEDESTRIAN MALL

Just as the Pentacrest is the heart of the UI campus, the Ped Mall is the heart of downtown Iowa City. Just southeast of the Pentacrest and bounded by Clinton Street to the west, Washington Street to the north, Linn Street to the east and Burlington Street (OK, the Graduate Hotel) to the south, the Ped Mall is where all the non-football action is.

This is the main hub for bars and restaurants, and on gameday it will be overflowing with black and gold-clad fans. There are a number of places to grab your last-minute Hawkeye gear or gameday supplies.

If you’re looking for something to do, somewhere to eat or drink, or just some good people watching, this is the place to be any day of the week in Iowa City.

ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME

Located just a little over a mile west of Kinnick Stadium along Melrose Avenue (across Mormon Trek Blvd from Finkbine Golf Course), the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame is a great place to spend an hour or half a day depending on your schedule and level of interest. Admission is free and the walk to Kinnick is doable, though not ideal. Here’s what the UI has to say about the museum:

The University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame is the ultimate fantasy for a Hawkeye fan. The UI Athletics Hall of Fame has three floors of Hawkeye memories; from the National Championship trophies to the Orange Bowl to Nile Kinnick’s Heisman trophy. The UI Athletics Hall of Fame is a must see destination for friends and fans of the intercollegiate athletic programs at the University of Iowa.

I’ve been a number of times and you genuinely can learn something new each time. It’s a bit of a shame the HoF isn’t closer to Kinnick and Carver. If you have the time, it’s worth the trip.

KINNICK STATUE

As you prepare for the game, you obviously need to think about how early you want to get into the stadium. Are you the type to get there in time to see warm-ups or the guy who has to finish one more game of flippy cup or down one more brat before sliding into your seat as the first kickoff takes place? Either way, try to save enough time to walk by the Nile Kinnick Statue on the south end of the stadium.

As was highly publicized, the statue was recently removed for repairs, but it’s back in its rightful place now. Given the stadium’s namesake and the prominence in Iowa Football history, I think the Kinnick statue is a must see - even if your seats happen to be on the opposite side of the stadium.

KINNICK STADIUM

Speaking of the stadium, it’s a site in and of itself. You’ll hear it referred to as “beautiful and historic Kinnick Stadium” on the PA system from inside, and it’s true.

Kinnick was built in 1929, before Nile Kinnick was even in Iowa City. Originally known as Iowa Stadium, the Hawkeyes christened their new home with a 46-0 drubbing of Monmouth College. Back then, Kinnick was one of the larger stadiums in the land, holding 53,000 fans.

Since then, it’s undergone quite a transformation, while maintaining its early heritage. The exterior façade looks much the same as it did in the early days, though there is now a large press box on the west side of the stadium and each endzone now has stands. Those additions brought capacity up to 70,585. In 1972, Iowa Stadium was formally renamed Kinnick Stadium after the University’s only Heisman Award winner and American hero Nile Kinnick.

The transformation is still ongoing with the recent completion of the North Endzone Project.

For anyone who hasn’t been to the stadium since the project started after the 2017 season, it’s a visual stunner. The new scoreboard is now operational and the added height on that end of the stadium is tremendous.

It really makes one wonder what they need to fund raise to get the south endzone to match. It looks a bit unnatural having the two ends different.

WHAT TO DO

Outside of the game itself, there is plenty to do ahead of kickoff in and around Iowa City. A lot will depend on your timing, but there are lots of options if you get to town the Friday before and make a weekend of it.

FOOD

Looking for a bite to eat? Boy, do we have you covered. In case you missed it, we ran an entire series of Friday posts a couple summers back dedicated to the best restaurants in and around Iowa City. Everyone has their preference, but whatever floats your boat - from breakfast and lunch to dinner and other - we have an option for you from Iowa City Eat-A-Palooza. There are also a number of new restaurants popping up all over the place, including some new spots around Kinnick.

On game day, most of the local bars will fill up pretty early, so get there in plenty of time if you’re looking for a seat. Same goes for the breakfast spots if you’re looking to catch an Iowa City staple ahead of the tailgate scene.

But fear not, there are dozens and dozens of options around the stadium. From pizza to barbecue to the classic “big ass turkey leg!” If you can’t find what you’re looking for from a street vendor, find your way to an Iowa tailgate and make some new friends.

THE BEER BAND

Like everything in Iowa City, the fun for home games gets started early. And no, I don’t mean like 5 am early, though that is undeniably true. The festivities truly begin days in advance as Iowa students campus-wide kick off the weekend on Friday (or Thursday.... or Wednesday if we’re being honest). And that includes the Marching Band.

Though not officially sanctioned by the UI, if you venture downtown Iowa City on a Friday night before a home football game, you’ll almost certainly hear the tunes of gameday flowing from a trimmed down version of the Hawkeye Marchi...a group of randomly gathered **wink wink** students with instruments affectionately known as the Beer Band. As the name implies, they play music and they drink beer. They drink beer and they play music.

They travel from watering hole to watering hole, playing the various melodies we all know and love - from the fight song to the victory polka to spoofs of our opponents fight song (my personal favorite was their take on Hail to the Victors) - and all they ask for in return is that you buy them a drink. Or five.

TAILGATING

Here it is, the meat and potatoes of the gameday eperience. Most long-time Iowa fans have their preferred tailgate spots and have been in them for years. But for new visitors, Iowa City on gameday can be a little overwhelming. While Kinnick Stadium holds just north of 70,000 fans, the area surrounding it swells with crowds well over 100,000 people.

Most of those fans will find their way to a tailgate spot in a parking lot or a backyard, but there will still be thousands wandering in the streets. If you don’t know where you’re headed, you can get lost in the sea of black and gold.

Image via Hawkcentral.com

Any of the public parking areas outlined above will be littered with tents, truck beds, grills and, uh, beverages. Same is true for the donor lots. The closer you get to the stadium, typically the more upscale the tailgate (you’ll note those donor lots are much closer than the public ones), but that’s not always the case.

Here’s a look at the University of Iowa’s official policy on tailgating:

Screen capture via footballgameday.hawkeyesports.com

So yes, alcohol is allowed in the UI parking areas near Kinnick, but the UI’s official stance on that alcohol on public property (ex-the UI property) is that it is prohibited.

Per the gameday website:

Anyone in possession of an open container (including beer, wine and hard liquor) while walking/driving to University property on the public sidewalks and roads will be issued a citation and the beverage will be confiscated.

While that may be true, the fact remains there will be in excess of 100,000 fans wandering the streets and not nearly enough law enforcement to truly enforce that stance. In my experience you’ll be perfectly fine if you crack one open on your way to the tailgate provided you’re on or near Melrose Ave and are being reasonably responsible about it. If you’re under the legal drinking age, all bets are off. This is a prime time for the city to make some money on citations. [Editor’s note: We do not condone breaking laws. Drink responsibly.]

I fully acknowledge that will do little to stop one of the country’s top party schools from doing what it does best.

If you don’t have a place picked out ahead of time, make your way to Melrose Avenue and just soak it up. Yes, there are plenty of parking lots full of tailgaters, just like most other major universities not named Northwestern. Yes, there are tons and tons of houses with yards full of open tailgates and Hawkeye fans imbibing. What makes Iowa unique is the mixture of those things with the mayhem of the surrounding streets with their street vendors and people getting ready for Hawkeye football. If you get that far, you’re sure to have a good time. Just wear black and gold.

CARVER-HAWKEYE OPEN PRACTICE

This one isn’t a guarantee for every home game, so be sure to check social media or your favorite Hawkeye-related message board, but there’s a long-standing tradition of open practices and informal pick up games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena a few hours before Iowa football games.

The basketball team has, for years, held regular shirts/skins games without coaches present, but with the doors to the arena open to the public. You’ll see a mix of current players as well as prospects mixing it up on the hardwood.

But it isn’t just the hoops team taking advantage of Carver-Hawkeye on football game days. The Hawkeye Wrestling Club also hosts open practices/workouts on Saturday mornings. It’s a great way to get an inside look at some of the Hawkeye greats practicing their craft. Just be sure to bring a towel and don’t get too close to the mat.

THE BAND/THE BOOM

If you’re looking for something a little more buttoned-up before kickoff, head to the UI Recreation Building just northwest of the stadium. Beginning 75 minutes prior to kickoff, the Hawkeye Marching Band plays for roughly 30 minutes. The pep rally includes the cheerleaders and Herky to get you ready for the game. Doors open 2 hours ahead of kickoff.

From there, the band marches across the street (and parking lot) to Kinnick where Iowa fans can “get ready for the boom.” The signature line leads the band onto the field as they prepare to welcome the team.

For a closer look at the band and their preparations, check below. You can get a glimpse of the pep rally and their march to Kinnick starting around the 11 minute mark.

HAWK WALK

On the opposite end of the stadium from the pep rally near the Kinnick Statue, Hawkeye fans can get an up close look at the entire Iowa football team and coaching staff as they enter the stadium. Two hours prior to kickoff, the team buses arrive on Melrose Avenue via police escort, though if you really want to catch a glimpse of the players, you’ll likely need to be there sooner to get a decent spot.

From the buses, the team and staff depart and do the Hawk Walk into the stadium. As they enter through the South Entrance, each player passes through the sea of fans and touches the Kinnick Statue.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Iowa
The Player Walk is a weekly tradition for home games and a great chance to see the players and staff up close before they get suited up for the game.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

THE GAME

This is what you’re here for! It’s easy to forget with all the pageantry and activities abound in the college football pre-game experience, but it all comes down to game time. How early you need to arrive really depends on what you care about. There are plenty of Hawkeye traditions that take place before kickoff. If you want the full experience, get there plenty early and find your seat (here’s a helpful map, including restroom locations and amenities). If you’d rather soak up what’s left outside the stadium, go for it. Just remember lines can be longer closer to game time. You can find important info about what is and is not allowed in Kinnick Stadium here.

It’s also worth a reminder that bags are prohibited in the stadium. You can bring in one 12”x12” clear tote, a clear 1 gallon bag or a 6.5”x4.5” clutch. If you have a larger bag or purse, you’ll be refused entry or forced to leave the bag at the gate (not in a secured storage area - you’ll be losing your personal items).

In terms of COVID-19 protocols for the 2021 season, there are currently no capacity restrictions or social distancing requirements. Additionally, as of this writing there is not a mask mandate in place. Those protocols are subject to change and it’s highly advisable to check HawkeyeSports.com ahead of your visit to ensure you have what you need for game day.

BACK IN BLACK & THE SWARM

If you’re not the type to take in warm ups and sit patiently for a half hour before game time, but still want as much of the Hawkeye experience as you can get, I recommend getting there at least 10 minutes ahead of scheduled kick off time. Due to the potential for lines, preferably closer to 15 minutes early.

Around the 8-9 minute mark as the clock counts down to kickoff, the PA system music will cut. The video boards will turn to the tunnel and the sweet sounds of AC/DC’s Back in Black begin to fill the air in the stadium. As the team approaches the end of the tunnel to form the swarm in the southwest corner of the stadium, the crowd attempts to clap along to the beat (with notoriously poor rhythm). The crowd gets louder and louder as Back in Black fades to Metallica’s Enter Sandman. The video board transitions to video of the Iowa Football equipment truck making the journey to Kinnick. As it approached, the opponents logo stands in the way (cheesy, I know), and as it plows through the logo, the swarm takes the field, led by the classic I-O-W-A flags and the music fades out as the band blasts the fight song.

KINNICK’S SPEECH

Shortly after the team takes the field, and prior to the singing of the National Anthem, fans are asked to turn their attention to the south endzone where they can see footage from Nile Kinnick’s acceptance speech for the Heisman Award in 1939. The audio and video are only a snippet of the full speech, but given Kinnick’s sacrifice in World War II, his place as the school’s only Heisman winner and the stadium’s namesake, it’s a great tribute to Hawkeye history.

From here, it’s game time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the best (hopefully) the Hawkeyes have to offer.

THE WAVE

This is it, college football’s greatest new tradition. In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect.

Between the first and second quarter, the PA announcer will ask the fans to direct their attention to the video board for a message from the UI Children’s Hospital. An incredibly touching video will play and almost nobody will actually pay attention. Not because they don’t care, but because they’ll be busy already turning to the tower standing across Hawkins Drive and waving like crazy.

Look at nearly any window in the tower and you’ll see kids, families and friends waving right back, most with signs ranging from “Thank You” to “Go Hawks!” and everything in between. But it’s not just the fans waving to the kids, it’s the players, the officials, everyone. It truly is incredible and it’s difficult to describe until you see it live.

Don’t worry about the dust in your eye, everyone else has it too.

And while you have the feels, it’s always a good time to consider doing more than just waving. You can support the children and families in the Stead Family Children’s Hospital with a gift of any size. Every donation truly makes a difference.

I-O-W-A

Remember those I-O-W-A flags I told you about? Hopefully they get some work in the game as well. Following each Hawkeye score, cheerleaders in each corner of the stadium lead a chant by raising their flags in succession: I-O-W-A. The fans split the stadium into quarters and follow their closest flag.

Students (the “I”) tend to be loudest, for obvious reasons. They also tend to not really need the flags to keep things rolling. Kids these days.

THE VICTORY POLKA

If all goes according to plan, the game ends with the band playing and the fans singing the Hawkeye Victory Polka, more commonly known as In Heaven There is No Beer. If you didn’t embrace the beer band the night before and hear this one a million times, here’s a look at it in action.

There’s a longer version of the song, but here’s what you need to know to fit in:

In heaven there is no beer. That’s why we drink it here. And when, we’re gone, from here..... Our friends will be drinkin all the beer.

Indeed.


This is certainly not an all-encompassing guide. If you have your own tips, suggestions or recommendations, drop them in the comments below! We want everyone who isn’t an opposing team member to truly enjoy their time in Iowa City. Have a blast and go Hawks!