Jack Trice Stadium is home to the Iowa State Cyclones football team. First opened in 1975, this venue has a seating capacity of 55,000, and recent years have seen that stands filling up more and more as the school fields a more quality team. Jack Trice Stadium opened on September 20, 1975 when Iowa State Cyclones defeated Air Force 17-12. The stadium (originally Cyclone Stadium) replaced Clyde Williams Field that had been home to Iowa State football since 1914. The stadium was renamed as Jack Trice Stadium in 1997. Jack Trice, Iowa State’s first African American athlete, passed away three days after being injured playing in his first football game for the Cyclones in 1923. The stadium has undergone many expansions and renovations over the years, the last being in 2011 when a new video/scoreboard was installed in the north end of the stadium. The board measures almost 36×80 feet and ranks among the biggest in college football. The athletic department is in the planning stages of enclosing the south end zone and adding a second deck on that side. The cost of the expansion is estimated at $55 million.
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Much like their cross-state rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State fans like to tailgate. Walking to the stadium from the parking areas, you will be wading through a substantial amount of tailgaters, all decked out in cardinal and gold, the colors of Iowa State. A big part of the experience at the games is that they allow passes out to the parking lot during halftime to keep the tailgating going. The same two colors comprise the inside view of the stadium, adding to the festive atmosphere. The four corners of the stadium are grass areas that allow for fans to bring blankets and sit on the grass when weather in Iowa allows. When entering, be sure and rent a chair back unless you have one. Very few seats in the stadium have chair backs. As game time approaches, the stadium fills up and the noise increases. The team entrance has become quite a spectacle with the addition of the new video board in 2011. After the Cyclones marching band has taken its place on the field, smoke begins to billow out the tunnel the Cyclones enter the field through. Prior to the entrance, a loud tornado siren blares as the team charges out onto the field. The siren is also sounded after important plays the Cyclones make during the game.
The fans in Ames are showing up much more in the past couple seasons, despite a team that hasn’t produced much on the field. The fans run the gamut from the hard-cores that follow the team religiously to the fans that show up just to watch a football game. As of late, there seems to be a growing group of hard-cores.
In short, he Cyclones are a struggling football team. Despite that, more fans are showing up now than in a long time. The stadium is part of the reason fans are coming back. The upgrades have made the stadium a fun place to watch a game. The people are friendly and Ames is a nice college town. Jack Trice Stadium isn’t an absolute “must” such as Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska is considered to be, but it is a very fun and exciting place to watch a game. If you find yourself near Iowa during football season, don’t hesitate to make the trip to Ames. You won’t be disappointed.
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