Why Iowa keeps its spring game on a Friday for second straight year
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Lets hope it don't rain.
— T&T (@tandto) April 6, 2018
ANSWER: For the second straight year, Iowa’s public football practice will run on a Friday night.
This year, the annual scrimmage takes place at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, April 20, at Kinnick Stadium. However with a renovation of Kinnick Stadium, the event does not involve a game format and will not air live on BTN or BTN.com.
Until 2017, Iowa held its spring game on a Saturday afternoon, but BTN never chose it for the main channel. Iowa’s event ran up against other teams, and the Hawkeyes’ format is not a traditional game and more like a practice. The scoring formula is somewhat complicated as well.
So moving it to Friday night had its advantages for exposure. Last year when it was a game format, BTN aired the event live.
“It’s worked well for us,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said. “The student-athletes then get the weekend off. It’s [coach Kirk Ferentz’s] preference. We tried it, it worked and we’re going to do it again.”
Iowa’s $89 million north end zone renovation won’t have much impact with the scrimmage, but it will require some on-field oversight. There was some consideration of moving the event to Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids, but officials decided to keep it in Iowa City.
“For the most part there will be quick whistles if it starts going the other way and for the most we’ll run offensively all toward the south,” Barta said. “I think that’s the general plan.”
As for the seating, fans will remain in the west grandstand as usual. About 16,000 fans attended the 2017 game.
“[The north end zone] will be blocked off,” Barta said. “Generally we don’t go on the east side, we’ll just make the east and the north are blocked off.”
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