University of Iowa News Release
Aug. 30, 2004
Hawkeye Express To Roll For Season Opener
Fans of the University of Iowa football team who have been planning on "Taking the Train to the Game" on Saturday, Sept. 4, when the Iowa Hawkeyes entertain Kent State in the Throwback Game, can rest easy -- the Hawkeye Express will be riding the tracks for that event and on five other game-day Saturdays in 2004.
University of Iowa staff have worked closely with the long list of organizations involved in the project over the last month to finalize plans ranging from the stairs that fans will climb to access the parking area southwest of historic Kinnick Stadium to the myriad of insurance issues and other safety concerns.
"Pardon the pun, but we thought we were derailed several times during the past few weeks for a wide variety of reasons. However, in the end, everyone involved wanted this project to happen, so they rolled up their sleeves and made sure it happened," said Mark Jennings, associate athletic director at the UI.
As previously announced, the Hawkeye Express will begin service to historic Kinnick Stadium Saturday, Sept. 4, at 8:30 a.m. The 11-car train that provides service from Denver to ski areas north of that city during the winter months will take on passengers at a "depot" to be located on the south side of U.S. Highway 6, southeast of the Olive Garden restaurant in Coralville.
The train will ride east through the heart of Coralville and past the Iowa Softball Complex and Cretzmeyer Track before turning southeast in preparation for arrival at the landing and stairs located near the southwest corner of Kinnick Stadium. The total ride time on the train is expected to be approximately 15 minutes.
Post-game service will begin at the start of the fourth quarter and continue until approximately 90 minutes after the end of the football game. Fans who intend to ride the train to the game will park their vehicles in no-charge parking areas adjacent to the depot and at nearby Coral Ridge Mall. Tickets for the round-trip train service will cost $5. Tickets will go on sale Monday at the UI Athletic Ticket Office and the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitors Information Center inside the Coral Ridge Mall.
Tickets also may be purchased on game days at the Hawkeye Express depot. Hawkeye Express tickets will not be game-day specific, e.g. a ticket purchased today can be used to ride the train on any of the six game days during the 2004 college football season.
Jennings said the UI Athletic Department hopes that "Taking the Train to the Game" proves to be an exciting addition to the game-day experience. "We're hoping that fans of the Hawkeyes see this as a great addition to the experience of attending an Iowa football game. The real benefit (of offering the train service) is for the fan who doesn't have a tailgating routine or reserved parking privileges. They can avoid all the challenges of parking and traffic around the stadium by just riding the train," Jennings said.
Getting to the Hawkeye Express is simple and easy. Fans traveling eastbound or westbound on Interstate 80 should exit southbound at Coral Ridge Avenue/U.S. Highway 965 (Exit 240), drive south to U.S. Highway 6, where they will turn east and travel two blocks to 25th Avenue in Coralville.
The Hawkeye Express is a joint effort involving, among others, the Colorado Ski Train owned by Ansco Investment Corp., and the Iowa Interstate Railroad.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.
CONTACTS: Mark Jennings, associate athletics director, 319-335-8903; Rick Klatt, associate athletics director, 319-335-9431