Hawkeye fans upset over new parking, tailgating rules at Kinnick - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hawkeye fans upset over new parking, tailgating rules at Kinnick

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Some Hawkeye fans are upset about new parking and tailgating changes this year at Kinnick Stadium.

Fans who fork over tens of thousands of dollars a year to park and tailgate say they're frustrated by new rules preventing them from setting up tents and canopies.

Music, drinks and football is all Jason Vanzetten thought he needed to enjoy tailgating, but after the new rules he realized the importance of tents.

"There's been some changes around here," said Vanzetten. "It's going to be raining, it's going to be cold, so having a tent is a big deal."

Those changes are not sitting well with Vanzetten. He's among others who give $15,000 every year to the National I-Club to be a Kinnick Society Gold Member.

"Now that you've done that and you've made that donation level, things have changed," said Vanzetten. "You can't have a tent here anymore. For me it's extremely frustrating for a lot of reasons."

Rick Klatt, associate athletics director, says it's all to ensure the safety of fans.

"The decision to eliminate tents immediately west of Kinnick Stadium first and foremost is a security and safety issue," said Klatt. "We knew we would have a small number of people who would be frustrated by the change, who isn't?"

He says those who lease a private suite paying $55,000-$70,000 a year can set up tents, and fans like Vanzetten had an opportunity too.

"We provided you a space over to the left where you had the opportunity to rent two spaces and erect your tent," said Klatt.

"I think they need to review where the donations are coming from," said Jason Starr, another Kinnick Society Gold Member. "Figure out a different system whether you've got to be here at a certain time in your spot or whatever it is."

Klatt says the decision to make the changes was a process, but he's confident traffic will flow better and it will give the greatest number of fans a safer environment on game days

"Now I do understand the university's point here, but you have to be a little give and take and you have to be smart about it," said Vanzetten.

The new rules also comes with assigned parking spots.

"We listen to them on this topic very strongly. I just hope they give it a chance because I think if they do they'll realize life is OK, life is good, lets go and cheer on the Hawks," said Klatt.

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