Big Ten pushes for Friday night football games

The Big Ten has made a push for more Friday night football games for the 2017-2018 season. This change could have massive effects for both West and University of Iowa football. The West Side Story interviewed athletic director Craig Huegel to get an exact measurement of the effects.


Pareen Mhatre

West and City prepare to scrimmage.

Ellie Gretter, Sports Editor

Many factors could cause complications to the already elaborate planning process of Friday night football games. Peter Cownie, an Iowa Republican state representative introduced a bill entitled, “An act prohibiting regents institutions from scheduling intercollegiate football games on Fridays.” This bill would prohibit any intercollegiate football game from occurring on a Friday night under state control.

“It could potentially have a big effect. My greatest concern, without knowing what the University might intend to do, is really the logistical side of things,’ Huegel said. “With our extremely late dismissal time of 4:00, I could foresee problems with traffic outside of West High, both for our students trying to leave and the opposing team trying to get in, let alone the potential revenue implication.”

These new college game times could not only affect West High, but also the Iowa City Community School District.

“Our admission [fees] are returned to the district. [Therefore] that money doesn’t go to any athletic program. The money that we give to the district is usually then returned to us; [the district] pays for most of our transportation. I think we are getting a really good side of that bargain. When there is a home Iowa event, we tend to feel the impact,” Huegel said.

Although the admission is only $5, this fee can quickly add up depending on crowd size.

“Generally, our home games can bring in anywhere from $3-4,000, upwards of $15,000, depending on the opponent. There is certainly a potential impact to us in that regard.

— Craig Huegel, Athletic director

“Generally, our home games can bring in anywhere from $3-4,000, upwards of $15,000, depending on the opponent. There is certainly a potential impact to us in that regard,” Huegel said.  

Since revenue from these games is heavily impacted by crowd size, a  University of Iowa football game could potentially lessen crowd size.

“One of the reasons I really enjoy working here is the student and crowd support that we get. Just last week, we hosted Cedar Rapids Prairie and we had a fantastic crowd. The City [versus] West events, whatever sport we’re talking about, are always well-attended with very passionate fans. I certainly hope [fans still attend], but it does present our fans with a choice,” said Huegel.