Jack Trice Stadium opened on September 20, 1975 when Iowa State Cyclones defeated Air Force 17-12. The stadium (originally Cyclone Stadium) replaced Clyde Williams Field which had been home to Iowa State football since 1914. The stadium was renamed as Jack Trice Stadium in 1997. Jack Trice, Iowa State’s first African American athlete, passed away three days after being injured playing in his first football game for the Cyclones in 1923.
The stadium has undergone many expansions and renovations over the years, the last being in 2011 when a new video/scoreboard was installed in the north end of the stadium. The board measures almost 36x80 feet and ranks among the biggest in college football. The athletic department is in the planning stages of enclosing the south end zone and adding a second deck on that side. The cost of the expansion is estimated at $55 million.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Jack Trice Stadium doesn't offer anything overly unique, but there are plenty of options for every taste. The BBQ pork nachos ($8) are quite tasty and worth a try. Pulled pork ($6), brats ($6), and hot dogs ($4) are also available at the Fare stands, located on both sides of the stadium.
Cyclones Grill offers chicken tenders & tots ($8), buffalo chicken tender basket ($8), and a veggie burger for $6. Chicken and Philly cheese steaks are also $8. All the typical snacks and candy are also available. The food concessions are located behind the seating areas on the sides. Each side is duplicate as far as what is available so if you don't see it on one side, it won't be on the other.
Coke products are the soda of choice. Regular soda is $4 and a larger souvenir cup will run $5 and is the better value. Also available are water ($4), hot chocolate ($4), and sports drinks ($5). Like many college venues, no alcohol is served.
Much like their cross-state rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State fans like to tailgate. Walking to the stadium from the parking areas, you will be wading through a substantial amount of tailgaters, all decked out in cardinal and gold, the colors of Iowa State. A big part of the experience at the games is that they allow passes out to the parking lot during halftime to keep the tailgating going.
The same two colors comprise the inside view of the stadium, adding to the festive atmosphere. The four corners of the stadium are grass areas that allow for fans to bring blankets and sit on the grass when weather in Iowa allows. When entering, be sure and rent a chair back unless you have one. Very few seats in the stadium have chair backs.
As gametime approaches, the stadium fills up and the noise increases. The team entrance has become quite a spectacle with the addition of the new video board in 2011. After the Cyclones marching band has taken its place on the field, smoke begins to billow out the tunnel the Cyclones enter the field through. Prior to the entrance, a loud tornado siren blares as the team charges out onto the field. The siren is also sounded after important plays the Cyclones make during the game.
Ames, Iowa is very much a college town which means plenty of places to eat and drink before or after the game. About a mile northeast of the stadium is Welch Avenue. Welch Avenue is where everyone congregates after the game. If you are just looking for a place to have a drink, Welch Ave. Station is a good place to go. They always have drink specials and a friendly staff. There are plenty of other places to eat in the Welch Avenue area with plenty of variety.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of a post-football game in Ames, there are two places definitely worth checking out. For pizza fans, Black Market Pizza is about 3 miles north of the stadium. Black Market offers up some great pies of for all tastes. Themed in the Chicago mafia tradition, wanted posters of Al Capone, Bugsy Moran, etc. are on display. The food is great and there are plenty of drinks to choose from as well.
If pizza isn't your thing, the newly opened Mucky Duck Pub is worth a try. The Mucky Duck is located on your way back to I-35 and offers some great British food. Their fish & chips are outstanding as are their sausage rolls. They offer plenty of drinks both British and domestic and make a decent Pimms.
The fans in Ames are showing up much more in the past couple seasons, despite a team that hasn't produced much on the field. The fans run the gamut from the hard-cores that follow the team religiously to the fans that show up just to watch a football game. As of late, there seems to be a growing group of hard-cores.
The fans are amped for the game the minute the tornado siren blares which signals the entrance of the team. The majority of fans react on every play and they are a knowledgeable bunch. They don't always stay until the end of the game but this season (2013) has not been kind to Cyclones football or its fans.
It takes a bit of doing to get to the stadium as it is located in the interior of the town, near the ISU campus. Parking close to the stadium is tough as some of the lots are taken up by boosters, tailgaters, etc. Parking anywhere near the stadium will run you $20 and while there is some free parking within walking distance, those areas are quite a haul for most people.
Once inside the stadium, the concourses are sufficiently wide to get around without much problem. There are sufficient restrooms except during halftime where you will need to wait your turn for a little while.
Leaving the game on the days everyone stays until the end can be a challenge. There are few options for getting out of that part of Ames, so be prepared to have a bit of a wait.
Like many other venues, Jack Trice Stadium has adopted a sliding scale for tickets depending upon the opponent. Tickets range from $30-$50 for upper deck tickets and $50-$65 for the better tickets in the lower deck. One of the nice features of the stadium is the grass areas located in each corner. These tickets run $10-$20 depending on the opponent. With $20 parking and food prices in line with other venues, you are looking at a little bit of an investment to attend a game.
An extra point for the unique team entrance. Most football teams take the field to some sort of fanfare but the tornado siren makes for a distinctive occasion.
One extra point goes to the staff and one to the fans. The staff is very friendly, helpful, and willing to answer any questions. The tailgating folks are also very nice. Don't be surprised if someone stops you on your way to the stadium and invites you over for a drink and conversation.
The Cyclones are a struggling football team. Despite that, more fans are showing up now than in a long time. The stadium is part of the reason fans are coming back. The upgrades have made the stadium a fun place to watch a game. The people are friendly and Ames is a nice college town. Jack Trice Stadium isn't an absolute "must" such as Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, but it is a very fun and exciting place to watch a game. If you find yourself near Iowa during football season, don't hesitate to make the trip to Ames. You won't be disappointed.
In Iowa, football is king and Jack Trice Stadium is one of its palaces. For most of Iowa outside of Ames and the Des Moines area, the Iowa State Cyclones are the state's second team, with most of the state embracing the Iowa Hawkeyes and Kinnick Stadium for their football of choice. And Kinnick is awesome, don't get me wrong, but Jack Trice Stadium, the home of Iowa State Cyclone football, has a certain attitude about it that makes it very hard not to like, especially if you're a football fan. If you're a college football fan, I caution you not to dismiss Jack Trice Stadium, because Cyclone fans are among the most close-knit and loyal around, and it all starts inside the walls of Jack Trice Stadium.
Ames, Iowa is like many other college towns across America on football Saturdays. Fans from across the state flock to the centrally located city to cheer on their beloved Cyclones.
Unfortunately for those fans, Iowa State has never been a juggernaut in football, hovering around mediocrity for the past few decades. Fair or not, that lack of success has a direct impact on the Jack Trice Stadium experience.
Jack Trice is easy on the eyes, but empty seats are visible for nearly every game (unless Iowa State is taking on rival Iowa). There is only one word to describe the stadium experience, and it is one that the football team has been accustomed to hearing over the years – average.
Went for a UNI VS Iowa State game. A lot of fun.
2816 West St
Ames, IA 50014
1404 South Duff Ave
Ames, IA 50010
207 Welch Ave
Ames, IA 50014
2610 Northridge Pkwy
Ames, IA 50010
3100 S Duff Ave
Ames, IA 50010
121 Welch Ave
Ames, IA 50014
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