IOWA CITY — To Iowa officials, reseating Kinnick Stadium for the 2014 football season is more about fairness than picking up more contributions.
The school has employed a priority points system based on giving levels since 2006, when the school renovated Kinnick Stadium. Eight years later, school officials believed it was time to do it again to reward those who have upgraded their donations.
"If you have a priority points system and that’s how you allocate priority points, if we don’t reseat occasionally, then the priority point system doesn’t really have a value to it," said Matt Henderson, the UI's executive director of development for athletics. "The reseating process, fortunately as fans have gone through it, they know some people might have some movement, some might not. Some will be able to improve, some will want to move to a different section."
There are subtle changes between the 2006 reseating and the upcoming shift. Unlike last time, fans will earn three points per year of purchasing season tickets. Letterwinners earn 20 points, while alumni pick up 10 points.
The contribution levels won't change for each zones, but the southeast corner of the end zone in sections 115, 113 and 111 now will have a minimum contribution of $50 per seat.
"We could go from 2006 to 2020 and not ask our fans for more money in terms of a minimum contribution," said Mark Jennings, Iowa's associate athletics director for donor and patron services. "That will make a lot of our fans very happy. They thought we were going to bleed them for money, and we are not. We’re just going to give some people an opportunity to get a better seat if they qualify for the priority points."
The school has set a strict timeline for implementation. Officials will calculate the priority points by June 30 and in October inform season ticket holders of their points balance. In December, Iowa officials will notify ticket holders of the date and time in January or February when they will select their tickets.
"The fact we’ve been through it once before probably takes away a little bit of that angst because most of the fans that are in the stadium today went through it once," Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said. "I think that helps."
Iowa's premium seating won't be affected by the reseating plans. All of Iowa's suites, as well as the indoor and outdoor club seats, are sold out for the 2013 season, Jennings said."It’s just amazing, something we never take for granted," Barta said.