CHICAGO — Don’t get too comfortable in your seat at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said Wednesday that Kinnick will once again be re-seated in 2014. The stadium was re-seated after a $90 million renovation project in 2006. Barta said Iowa told fans in ’06 that the process would happen again in five years.
So, here it comes again in 2014. It should be less jarring than in 2006, when seniority seating was replaced by a points system based on donation.
“By the time this goes into effect, it will be eight years, giving fans a two-year heads up to prepare for the process,” Barta said at the Big Ten spring meetings.
In ’06, Iowa introduced a priority seating system that ran on “points,” accumulated for everything from the yearly $7,500 donation for membership in the Kinnick Society worth 50 points to the 10 points ticketholders get for being an Iowa graduate.
Barta didn’t go into details on how the ’14 re-seating will be prioritized. He said it’s a chance to grow revenue — “find more contributors” — and, potentially, give fans a shot at a better seat.
“It becomes an opportunity to grow our fan base and donor base, but it’s also about fairness,” Barta said. “If people are sitting in a seat and they want to improve it and they’ve had ‘X’ number of years as a season-ticket purchaser and they’ve been contributing, they want to see their seats improve.”
In 2006, 15,000 fans bought their way into the “priority seating system.” The Iowa ticket office made 150 phone calls a day, starting with fans who had the highest number of point, and handed out seats. There also was a website that allowed fans to choose seats in near real-time.
Before ’06, Iowa’s seating system leaned toward seniority. Donations weren’t taken into consideration. When Iowa put together its priority seating system, school officials researched what other Big Ten schools did and took what they thought fit at Iowa.