IOWA CITY — Projected temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s and heat indexes expected to top 100 degrees at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday have prompted University of Iowa officials to urge fans attending Iowa’s football opener to take extra precautions.
The Hawkeyes are scheduled to host Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m., and several adjustments are being made to normal game-day procedures at the stadium to assist fans in dealing with the hottest start to a season in Gary Barta’s eight years as the school’s director of athletics.
“We are encouraging people to be smart, and just like we tell our student-athletes to begin hydrating now to prepare for Saturday, we encourage fans to do the same,’’ Barta said. “This will be by far the hottest day we’ve hosted a game on since I’ve been here, but we have a plan that we’ve dusted off and reviewed and will put into place.’’
The following adjustments are being made at Kinnick Stadium:
- Cooling stations will be available in each of the four corners at the stadium, equipped with tents for shade, misting stations and cold towels.
- Fans will be allowed to bring in more than one sealed bottle of water — compared to the usual limit of one sealed bottle — and bottled water will be sold for a reduced price of $2 inside the stadium
- Fans will be allowed to bring in an empty reusable water bottle to refill at drinking fountains inside the stadium.
Also, additional paramedics will be on-site and on-call, and the university will open Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the UI Recreation Building and the Iowa Field House for fans seeking shelter from the heat beginning at 8 a.m.
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Echoing reminders from the Iowa Department of Health, the university also is encouraging fans to wear light-colored clothing and hats, apply plenty of sunscreen, drink plenty of water beginning several days before the game and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
In its release, the university urges fans with pre-existing medical conditions to “consider participating in the weekend’s game by watching or listening to the game from a local business or from home.’’