Hello from Kinnick Stadium. I went down to the south end zone and caught a 13-inch smallmouth bass. I used a crayfish crankbait.
But seriously, folks, the south end zone is as good as however many inches of rain will allow it to be.
The Kinnick ground crew worked late into Friday evening and arrived to standing water in the south end zone at around 4 a.m. Saturday.
Maxwell Construction, of Iowa City, brought in pumps and got most of the water out. When the University of Iowa spent $90 million on the Kinnick renovation, the UI overlooked the drainage, specifically on the south side.
The same underground pump systems are trying to pump out way more water than it used to. The south end zone bleachers kick water back toward the field. The pressbox and west bleachers also factor in. The drains on the field are about the size you’d see in your shower. They are easily overrun, and so you have standing water in the south end zone.
On the Friday before the Maine game, water was ankle-deep in the south EZ. At about 8 a.m. Saturday, Kinnick grounds crew squeegee’d feverishly from the hashmarkto the sideline. After the squeegee squad matted down the grass, a couple leaf blowers were used to fluff it back up.
The Kinnick field is sand based, sort of like a golf green. After every game, the crew spends the rest of Saturday basically filling divots. The sand also attacks the drainage.
Walking around the sidelines a little bit, there is still some standing water. Not enough for you to see, but it’s there. The field seems to be OK, but the real test probably won’t come until the third quarter, when the field has been stressed and when it will be trucked over pretty hard again.
You have to wonder about how the field will hold up in future games. There are four more games at Kinnick this season.