Gene Smith, Athletics, (515) 294-0123
Scott Barnes, Athletic Development, (515) 232-5022
Tom Kroeschell, Athletic Media Relations, (515) 294-3372
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
IOWA STATE PRESS BOX PROJECT BEGINS
AMES, Iowa -- Work has begun in preparation for construction of Iowa State University's new press box at Cyclone Stadium-Jack Trice Field. Crews are dismantling the interior of the existing press box and foundation work for the three-level tower will begin soon.
The press box, to be built above the upper west stands, will be used by the news media and ISU's football game-day operations staff. In addition to the news media area, the $6.1 million project includes nine suites for football fans in the press tower and up to 15 more in the existing press area.
"This will be a wonderful addition to our football stadium," ISU Athletic Director Gene Smith said. "Not only will its appearance enhance the look of the stadium, the additional space will improve our game-day operations and allow more members of the news media to cover our games.
"The entire project was made possible by those who will lease the new suites," Smith added. "We are grateful for their commitment to the support of intercollegiate athletics at Iowa State."
Smith said the project will result in up to 24 suites for football patrons. Nine will be built on the first level of the press box and 10 or 11 (depending on their size) will be constructed in the existing press area, located on the west side between the upper and lower stadium sections. Four suites already exist in the current press area.
Accommodating from nine to 32 people, the suites are being marketed to Cyclone football fans. Revenue from the 10-year agreements with suite holders will fund construction.
Additional space for the news media is needed because coverage of Cyclones games has increased with the formation of the Big 12 Conference, Smith said.
Members of the print media and ISU staff will occupy the press box's second level, and radio and television crews and football coaches will have booths on the third level. An elevator will provide access to the press box.
The Weitz Co. Inc., a Des Moines building contractor, is overseeing construction of the press box. Brooks Borg Skiles of Des Moines is the architect for the project. Norwest Bank Iowa will finance the project once construction is complete until approximately 2007, when all of the revenue is received from the 10-year suite agreements.
The press box and suites are scheduled to be completed in time for the 1997 football season.
NOTE: Weitz is pronounced similar to "whites."
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