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University of Iowa Kinnick Stadium New Score and Video Walls


The University of Iowa wanted to improve the fan experience and offer more advertising opportunities to sponsors at Kinnick Stadium, the 70,000 seat home of Hawkeye Football. They needed a solution that would incorporate state-of-the-art video technology with the historic structure of the stadium.


The University of lowa identified the display system technology it wanted to use in Kinnick Stadium, and approached Shive-Hattery to help make it happen within a quick timeframe. To ensure the project would not interfere with football games or other activities within the stadium, the team had only six months to complete every aspect of the project, from deciding on a conceptual design to installing and programming new video equipment.
Shive-Hattery provided architecture and engineering design services, prepared bid documents, and administered construction activities for this Kinnick Stadium project, which included a panel-clad structure to house a new 380 foot by 9 foot continuous video ribbon board flanked by two 40 foot tall high-definition video boards. The structure complemented the aesthetic of existing stadium structures and contained game clocks, a new play clock and a camera stand.
Working closely with the scoreboard manufacturer, Shive-Hattery devised a system to maximize advertising space while impacting the existing structure as little as possible. The new structure stands 44 feet above the top row of seating and nearly 76 feet above street level. Its innovative design utilizes the existing structure for vertical and lateral support, eliminating the need for additional steel columns or foundations, thus minimized the effect of the structure on the seats below.
The supporting structure required tighter-than-normal construction erection tolerances due to the continuous display of the 380-foot-long ribbon board, working around the trilinear arrangement of the stadium's seating. A 3D analytical model of the existing stadium framing was built to help identify design challenges, design and detail the most cost-effective framing solution, and communicate the design concept to the University of Iowa.
There was also extremely limited space for construction activities, given the number and type of surrounding buildings - including the University of Iowa West Campus Transportation Center and the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics - and volume of vehicle traffic. To accommodate these site challenges, Shive-Hattery designed and detailed construction fencing requirements, lane closures, vehicular and pedestrian traffic control, and site signage.


This project serves as an example of how historic structures can be updated to include new technology without compromising aesthetics. Supported by a structure that makes the display systems appear as if they’ve always been part of Kinnick Stadium, the new high-definition video boards and ribbon board rise above the existing facility with very little impact on the existing structure.
In 2014, the project was honored with a Grand Place Award in the Buildings & Systems category from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Iowa (ACEC).
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