Iowa football: Kinnick Stadium ranked best in Big Ten

(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /

Kinnick Stadium has been home for Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa football team since 1929 and has been ranked as the best venue in the Big Ten.

The Iowa football team has called Kinnick Stadium home since the late 1920s. Throughout the years, several renovations have been done to preserve the historic nature of the venue.

Recently, the University constructed the Iowa Children’s Hospital overlooking the field with all players and fans waiving to the kids at the end of the first quarter.

Lansing State Journal ranked all the Big Ten stadiums and Kinnick Stadium sits atop their list.

"There is nowhere else in the Big Ten where you can be so close to the game — I once sat with my feet on the field in the end zone. More than that, Kinnick has a classic feel, with the brick and arches, and a welcoming vibe. You aren’t likely to be spit on by the home fans. The new tradition of waving to the patients and families watching from up high at Children’s Hospital makes this a bucket-list college football venue. – Lansing State Journal"

Last season, the north end zone renovations were completed as part of an $89.9 million project that will ultimately include new seating, concourse renovations, and premium club level seating. The north end zone creates a vertical wall to make fans feel closer to the field and make the fan noise level louder for opposing teams.

With the annual America Needs Farmers game and alternating sections striped in black and yellow, Kinnick Stadium is an amazing atmosphere for all levels of fandom. While the stadium does not have permanent lights in the corners for night games, I anticipate those will become a permanent fixture in the near future as the Iowa football team starts to schedule more night games.

Speaking of, weird things happen when the Iowa football team hosts night games against top opponents. Look no further than Michigan in 2016 or Penn State in 2008 or Ohio State in 2017. The last one was a 2:30 start but ended with nightfall approaching.

There’s no other atmosphere in the Big Ten quite like Kinnick Stadium. As a former student, it’s amazing to see how far the stadium renovations have come since I was there. Just for reference, my sophomore year was the first season that the endzones were painted black.

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That’s not to say the other Big Ten stadiums are not unique in their own way, as I have been to several, but Kinnick Stadium is a special place for Iowa fans. In a state without any professional sports, it’s a place to worship their Hawkeyes for seven games a season.