So the Hawkeyes are making headline news at the moment, you may have seen the ‘Kinnick Wave’ on the news. During the football home games in Iowa City, the whole of Kinnick Stadium turn to the Children’s Hospital that overlooks the stadium, and everyone waves at the patients on the 12th floor. They even do it at night and wave phone flashlights (if you’ve ever been to a music gig where people wave a light during a song, you’ll know how awesome it looks)! On December 7th they will be receiving the ‘Disney Sports Spirit Award’! But did you know that in Iowa City there’s a ‘Hall of Fame and Museum’ celebrating Hawkeye sports and all the athletic achievements of the University of Iowa?
Disclosure: I visited the HOF as part of my visit to Iowa City with Kinseth Hospitality and Hilton Garden Inn. As always opinions are 100% my own.
Visiting the Athletics Hall of Fame & Museum
The University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum is open daily (times vary) and is completely FREE to visit. The Roy G. Karro Building has 3 floors displaying over 100 years worth of history and Hawkeye memorabilia, the ground floor even has conference and event space!
Shock horror, being a British expat, I don’t understand American football but living in East Iowa the majority of people I’m surrounded by are Hawkeye fans! The part I enjoyed seeing the most was how the Hawkeye sports have changed over the years. The museum is packed with early photographs and awards from the different teams. A really interesting part was seeing the different uniforms. Some looked ridiculously uncomfortable and heavy and the material looked like it would rub in all of the wrong places! Just look at this one…it looks like one of Ron Weasley’s Christmas jumpers in Harry Potter!
There were also several old mascot costumes of Herky the Hawkeye, including a cut through so you could see what the inside of the head looks like! Now I used to be a costume character at my very first full time job when I was 18…I used to think my ‘head’ was bad because it stunk like a dead rat inside but at least it looked a little more comfortable than some of the early Hawkeye costumes!
If you feel like releasing your inner child, or testing out your skills, there’s a mini basketball court on the 3rd floor where you can ‘shoot some hoops’ (or horrendously miss the hoop…repeatedly…if your name is Kylie. Derick from the Hilton was on point though 😉 )
A large part of the museum of course celebrates football (and a whole range of others) with a list of Hall of Fame inductees of those being recognised for their commitment and dedication to their sport. There’s even some giant bobble heads!
I guess one of the biggest names in the Hall of Fame would be Nile Kinnick. The Kinnick Stadium, the Iowa Hawkeyes football stadium, was re-named after Nile in the 1970s. He was a football player back in the 1930s and even won the Heisman Trophy (a trophy annually awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the USA). But unfortunately in 1943, Nile Kinnick died in a plane crash during World War II.
Hall of Fame Location
2425 Prairie Meadow Drive, Iowa City.
Read more at: University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame website.
Hotels near the Kinnick Stadium
Going to a Hawkeye football game and in need of a hotel? How about the Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City? It’s 1 mile away from the Hawkeye stadium (20 minute walk) and also has a great rooftop bar and restaurant!