The University of Iowa is making some major changes to its ticketing policies as the school navigates a host of uncertainties related to COVID-19, including the announcement that at least nine student-athletes have tested positive for the virus.
The school has decided to pause regular sale of football tickets for the time being. Only fans who have renewed their season ticket orders and paid per-seat contributions by June 30 will be included in any potential Kinnick Stadium seating plans, the university announced.
New sales of the Fight for Iowa digital season pass, mini-plans, group, Hawkeye Village, and single-games ticket sales are paused until a clearer picture of Kinnick Stadium capacity and social distancing requirements are determined.
“Hawkeye fans are excited for the upcoming season and we appreciate their continued enthusiasm and support,” Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie director of athletics chair Gary Barta said in a statement. “With the current information available, we need to pause additional sales and focus on reduced-capacity seating models based on our season ticket holders. We anticipate finalizing this by late July and will share with our fans.
“The option of having the ability to accommodate as many Hawkeye fans who are comfortable attending a game in Kinnick Stadium is still one of the scenarios.”
The Hawkeye Express, which has provided fans train transportation from a satellite parking lot in Coralville to Kinnick Stadium since 2006, will not be operational for the 2020 football season because of the potential of reduced capacity. Fans who had purchased tickets for the Hawkeye Express will have an opportunity for a refund or credit toward other parking options. The Hawkeye Express is owned by the Iowa Northern Railway Company and operates on the tracks owned by the Iowa Interstate Railroad.
“We have a wonderful relationship with the Iowa Northern Railway, Iowa Interstate Railroad and the City of Coralville,” Barta said. “With many uncertainties heading into the season and the potential for reduced capacity and ridership, the sensible decision was to suspend operations for this season.”
Ticketing and parking for all venues beginning in the Fall of 2020 will move to mobile-only. Mobile tickets and parking passes will be scanned from smartphones or smartwatches to access parking lots and gates. Traditional paper tickets and parking hangtags will not be printed and mailed.
Fans utilizing public parking lots on game day will have the ability to pre-purchase mobile parking passes until noon on the Friday before a home game. Day-of-game sales in public parking lots will continue as space allows. Credit cards will be the only acceptable form of payment on game day.
“Mobile ticketing will provide contact less entry to our venues, while also giving greater flexibility and ticket security,” Barta said. “As conditions evolve throughout the coming year, mobile tickets provide more options to deliver the best fan experience in a changing environment for all our venues.”
Fans will need to have a smartphone/watch to access events as University of Iowa Athletics will also move away from PDF ticket print-outs for mobile ticket delivery. Ticket holders who do not have access to a smartphone should contact the Athletics Ticket Office to make arrangements.
Season ticket holders who selected the traditional paper ticket option during the renewal period will receive a commemorative set of printed tickets at the end of the football season.
Ticket buyers will receive links allowing them to download tickets and parking to Apple Wallet (iPhone) or Google Pay (Android). Prior to reaching the venue gates, fans simply pull up the tickets with QR codes on their smartphone/watch screen to show the gate attendant for scanning. Fans will be instructed to download tickets/passes prior to the game into their Apple Wallet or into Google Pay.
Season ticket holders and single-game buyers will continue to have the ability to post mobile tickets to StubHub, the official fan-to-fan marketplace of University of Iowa Athletics. Fans can access StubHub through their ticket account in the event they are unable to attend an event.
Suite and premium seat holders will receive their ticket booklet, although adjustments to capacity and parking could be implemented as additional information becomes available.
In the event the 2020 season is disrupted, the University of Iowa Athletics Department will provide future credit or ticket refunds.