University of Iowa Indoor Outdoor Practice Facility


The University of Iowa Hawkeye football team had an outdoor practice facility with two natural-grass fields – but the university struggled to keep them in good playing condition.
Inclement weather sometimes left the fields unplayable, turf maintenance and repair costs were high players had problems with footing. Trends in college football were leaning toward synthetic turf, so the University of Iowa wanted to explore a possible upgrade of its outdoor practice fields.


Shive-Hattery designed the outdoor practice facility’s existing natural-grass fields several years prior, and partnered with the University of Iowa athletics program again when it decided to convert its Ron and Margaret Kenyon Outdoor Practice Facility to synthetic turf.
Civil engineering and turf consultation services were delivered, including a review of plans and specifications, shop-drawing development and turf installation observation. The two outdoor practice fields were converted to synthetic turf to allow more rain-or-shine, spring-through-fall usage by the Iowa Hawkeyes. The team is able to play on the fields every day during training season.
Along with the practice fields, other areas of natural grass within the outdoor facility confines – including hillsides – were converted to synthetic turf. This reduces the need for mowing, watering, treating, and fertilizing.
Converting the University of Iowa’s outdoor natural-grass practice fields to synthetic turf has decreased annual maintenance and operations costs provides more outdoor practice time.


The Iowa Hawkeyes football practice schedule is no longer limited by the confines of natural grass. With synthetic turf, the team benefits from additional practice and training flexibility that isn’t dependent on the weather or turf conditions.
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