Kinnick tour

FILE: The new north end zone grandstand at Kinnick Stadium opens for business Saturday.

A turf replacement and field drainage system project at Kinnick Stadium will force Iowa football fans to wait until August to get their first glimpse of the Hawkeyes' 2019 team.

The university announced this morning that no open practice will be held this spring because of the project which is a result of flooding at the stadium last season.

"While the affected area from last summer was 100 percent repaired and safe for play in 2018, there is a long-term need to replace the turf this summer,'' Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta said in a statement. "We explored options for a public practice at an alternate venue, but did not have a suitable option.''

Crews are scheduled to begin the project as soon as the weather allows and a contractor is scheduled for the review of the drainage system.

The current turf has been in place for two seasons and the project is going through the university process as an insurance claim. The field graphics will remain unchanged on the new turf.

Iowa will give fans a chance to meet this year's team next month.

A Meet the Hawkeyes spring autograph session will be held with select members of the Iowa team on April 20 at an Iowa baseball game against Nebraska. The game has a scheduled 2 p.m. start.

A spring edition of Hawk Talk with coach Kirk Ferentz has also been scheduled at the VUE rooftop at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Iowa City. The date and time of that gathering which will include Ferentz and play-by-play voice Gary Dolphin will be announced at a later date.

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