UNI contemplates extensive Dome renovations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI contemplates extensive Dome renovations

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The University of Northern Iowa is tentatively pursuing structural renovations to the UNI-Dome.

Brion Carnes spends a lot of time there.

"Oh yeah, a lot of time," the football player said. "It's like, my second home."

Thursday, Carnes was throwing a football around inside the stadium, thinking about a crowded gameday.

So was Colin McDonough.

"If you've got 16,000 football fans, there's really only two sets of restrooms that are permanent in here," McDonough, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, said. "That can get pretty congested in the concourse."

That's why the University has discussed a multi-million dollar renovation to the UNI-Dome that would include about 120 new bathroom stalls and more premium seating. Another major issue is congestion caused by the close proximity of the restrooms to the concession stands. 

The project is still in the very early stages, but they're looking to raise somewhere in the neighborhood of "low eight figures."

"It's a big mob and tough to get through if you're working from one end to the other," McDonough said. "It could be better and there are things we can do to make it better."

Nothing is set in stone yet, but the University said their main goal is to improve fan experience.

As for the players, happier fans means, hopefully, more of them.

"More fans means more excitement, and more excitement brings more energy to the team," Carnes said.

That way, in a few years, maybe everyone can feel like McDonough.

"When you come through those doors, you get goosebumps," he said. "When you drive up the road you see the dome, you know where you are, you know it's Cedar Falls/Waterloo. It's a big figure and you want it to be around, and you want it to be the best it can be."

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