Hawkeye tailgating returns as season kicks off - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hawkeye tailgating returns as season kicks off

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The official football season kicks off and that means tailgating and lots of it.

"We go here at five [this morning], but they closed the lot off until 6," said Hawkeye fan Dan Suh.

If there's one thing for certain, Saturday brought out Hawkeye fans in full swing.

Expectations for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and the University of Northern Iowa Panthers are high.

Obviously, among the sea of black and gold, Panther pride was there, too.

"I have Iowa football season tickets, but I'm a UNI grad. So I have to wear purple when those two are playing," said UNI Jerry Ask.

Ask's friends were all Iowa fans, but he says he just loves the atmosphere.

"I actually went to UNI, but I'm an Iowa fan," said John Johanns of Osage.

Many of tailgaters started tackling the parking lots as early 4 a.m. Saturday.

Parking was limited for the opening season game this year because some grass surfaces at Finkbine Golf Course were not available because of the rain.

"We tailgate in any type of weather, bring it on, we're there," said Suh.

For Gerry Weiand, tailgating for the entire season is not just for fun, it's become a tradition.

Weiand and his wife have been tailgating at Hawkeye games for 26 years and have only missed two games. Once because of 17 inches of snow fell across eastern Iowa, the other time, his niece was getting married.

"UNI is a very good team, we're Hawk fans the only time we don't cheer for UNI or Iowa State is when they play us," said Weiand."We've sat through many rain games you bring your ponchos to every game just in case you need them."

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