DES MOINES, Iowa — University of Iowa Athletic Director, Gary Barta was all over the Iowa State Fair Friday. First off, Barta stopped at the WHO Radio Crystal Studio to chat with Van and Bonnie about what is going on in Iowa City. He later planned to stop at the University of Iowa booth in the Varied Industries Building.
“I love coming to the Iowa State Fair,” said Barta. “The State Fair really represents Iowa,” he added. Barta says Hawk fans are not shy about giving him advice regarding U of I athletics. The Athletic Department at Iowa made news recently over a plan to give away tuition to students who buy season tickets to Iowa Football games. Barta said some adjustments have been made to that promotion and they are now, “back on track,” he said. He went on to say “we’ve had a good response from the students.”
Barta said the over all issue was really about making sure students have a good time at the games. In this era of HD wide screens, you often can see things better at home. He says Hawk fans still like to be able to say I was there when… Iowa wins a big game or something happens. “Students are a big part of college game day,” he said.
Over the past few weeks Iowans have been seeing more TV and social media ads asking people to come to Iowa to go to school. Barta says that’s part of his job to get people interested in Iowa. “We hope every Iowan who wants to go to college would give the University of Iowa strong consideration,” he said.
Barta says as the new season of football brings excitement, they are thinking of the future. In 2006 there was a major renovation of Kinnick Stadium, a new video board has been added, and this year a new sound system. Down the road he said there is nothing yet concrete as far as stadium projects. “We’re always looking for ways to make Kinnick Stadium better,” he said.
As the new season of football kicks off Barta says the Hawks “have a chance to have a really good season.”