Editor's note: The university elected to remove the project from consideration at the November meeting and will request approval at a future meeting of the Iowa Board of Regents.
A proposed renovation to the home of the University of Iowa baseball team is being considered for final approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, at its November meeting.
Duane Banks Field opened on Stadium Drive in 1974 and sits between landmarks Kinnick Stadium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The planned $27.4 million renovations to the existing space—funded by athletic department gifts and revenue—are expected to significantly improve the game-day experience by increasing stadium capacity, improving ADA access and seating, adding premium seating opportunities, and expanding concessions and restrooms. The upgrades also will include a renovated entrance to the stadium.
“Updating the stadium’s amenities will improve the guest experience,” says Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for finance and operations. “The stadium has served as home to Iowa baseball for nearly half a century. It has played host to Iowa high school baseball state tournaments, and it is due for an update that will serve student-athletes and guests for years to come.”
The Hawkeyes have advanced to the postseason in each of the past seven seasons under coach Rick Heller. Iowa has averaged 32 wins per year under Heller’s watch, appearing in three NCAA Regionals and claiming the first Big Ten Tournament title in program history. Since 2015, Iowa is 125-40 in games played at Duane Banks Field.
“Coach Heller has built a culture of sustainable success that the baseball program has never before experienced,” says Beth Goetz, interim Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair. “These renovations will align with the championship level of performance we’ve seen inside the stadium.”
The university has committed to investing in Duane Banks Field since it opened in 1974. In 2002, former Hawkeye and ex-major leaguer Cal Eldred donated $245,000 to fund the installation of lights. In 2014-15, the field surface was replaced by AstroTurf and a state-of-the-art videoboard was installed.
Moving the stadium to a new location was investigated and found to be more expensive than renovating it. The current location was also determined to be more desirable because of its proximity to other facilities.
The project is part of the university’s 10-year facilities master plan.
The Board of Regents will meet Nov. 15-16 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.