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The Cowboys come to Iowa City for the season opener. James Kramer/The Register

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa football fans who normally park east of Kinnick Stadium may want to arrive earlier this season.

The university will be closing a section of Hawkins Drive to vehicle traffic 2 ½ hours before kickoff and will reopen it two hours after games end, starting with Saturday’s 11 a.m. season opener against Wyoming.

The affected portion of Hawkins Drive is between Melrose Avenue and Evashevski Drive. The purpose is to improve pedestrian safety in the area immediately east of the stadium while also allowing fans quicker entry to Kinnick through Gates J, K and L.

Gates open to the general public 90 minutes before kickoff.

Fans who want to park in ramp 4 and lots 14 and 49 should approach from Melrose (eastbound traffic) or from Riverside Drive and Grand Avenue (westbound). Visitors to the UI Hospitals and Clinics can still access parking ramp 2, but must approach from the north on Hawkins Drive.

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That change is one of several that fans will notice this year. Others include:

  • Fans who head west after leaving the stadium will have an easier time. Melrose Avenue will be open to two westbound lanes from Evashevski Drive to U.S. Hwy. 218. Normally, there is only one lane of westbound traffic from Evashevski to the Finkbine Golf Course.
  • Dubuque Street will carry only northbound traffic after the game to help fans get home quicker. It will be a one-way street between Foster and Park roads. Those looking to go south should use exit 246 off of Interstate 80 instead during this time. Pregame traffic on Dubuque, which is under construction, will remain as is, so fans should expect delays and factor them into their travel plans. The university is providing additional traffic control staff to help maintain the best flow possible.
  • Fans looking for Americans with Disabilities Act parking on a single-game basis can use ramp 4. Cost is $20, cash only, and your vehicle must have a state-issued placard or license plate.
  • There will be free golf-cart shuttles for fans needing assistance getting to and from the stadium, starting two hours before kickoff and lasting until one hour after the game ends. Pregame pickup locations are listed at hawkeyesports.com/gameday. After games, shuttles will gather fans at gates M and H only.
  • A half-hour performance by the Hawkeye marching band will begin 75 minutes before kickoff in the UI Recreation Building. Southeast and northwest doors to the facility will open two hours before kickoff, and there will be seating for fans on the west side of the track. Fans can carry only sealed bottles of water into the building.

The university is continuing its “clear bag policy” for fans. Visit hawkeyesports.com/gameday to see a list of items allowed in the stadium. Express lanes will be set up at all gates except E and I.

The Hawkeye Express train will run again this season, at a cost of $15 (cash only) for a round trip. The train will start running at 8 a.m. Saturday and departs from the Fount Plaza, 2441 James St. in Coralville. Return trips from the stadium start at the beginning of the fourth quarter and continue until 90 minutes after game’s end. The line will form to the north along Evashevski Drive.

 

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