JUST ANOTHER SATURDAY IN OCTOBER
For most fans, gameday begins when the
parking lots open around Jack Trice Stadium sometime before dawn. That’s when the
party begins. Iowa State football fans have a lively tradition of tailgating in the sprawling Iowa State Center lots and grassy areas surrounding the stadium. They blow into town with their flippy flags flying, break out their coolers and their grills, and set up their beanbag games.
Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes gameday action
involves a cast of hundreds. Field prep. Parking attendants. TV crews. Equipment. Traffic cops. Band practice. Ticket sales. Merchandise vendors. Press box. Cheer squad. Security. Video board. Refs. And food, food, food.
And after the game? Press conferences. Trash. Laundry. Field repair. More trash.
It’s just another Saturday in October.
Members of the Iowa Central College (Ft. Dodge, Iowa) softball team have been working gameday parking as a fundraiser for three years.
For an 11 o'clock game, parking lots open at 5:30 a.m...when it's cold and dark.
Students line up early to get a prime location in the student tailgate lot.
One section of the Iowa State Center parking lot -- dubbed "RV City" -- allows overnight parking.
Local Hy-Vee caterers work all night to prepare to serve up to 1,500 people in 10 hospitality tents.
The equipment staff arrives by 6:30 a.m. to prepare the locker room for the football team.
Ashley Mesnard, a sophomore from Antioch, Ill., and other members of the ISU cheer squad gather at 8 a.m. on the lower level of the Jacobson Athletic Building. "We call it 'The Dungeon,' said one member of the squad.
Zane Brugenhemke, first-year mascot from Council Bluffs, hurries with his Cy costume to an 8 a.m. mascot meeting.
Devin McDowell (defensive back from Garland, Texas) and the rest of the squad reports to the training room at 9:40 a.m.
Fans gather at the ISU Alumni Center for a Cyclone Central tailgate, a new tradition before each home game.
Colin Newell, a fourth grader from Ames, sells gameday programs as a fundraiser for Ames Hockey.
Referees finish their pre-game meeting in the Olsen Building at 9:48 a.m.
Players make their way through the Olsen Building just before 10 a.m. en route to the field.
Gates open at 10 a.m.
Tailgating in the Iowa State Center parking lots is an Iowa State tradition.
Tickets are often bought and sold in the area around the stadium.
The Cyclones take the field at 10:35 a.m.
Students celebrate during the first half of the game.
Fans react to the first Cyclone touchdown of the game.
ISU president Gregory Geoffroy stands near the band just before halftime.
Between 80 and 120 journalists from newspapers, radio, and TV stations cover each Cyclone game from the press box and sidelines.
The ISU Cyclone Football "Varsity" Marching Band performs on the field at halftime.
Cy to fans: "I can't hear you!"
Members of the SALT Company clean up the stadium to raise money for Ames' Cornerstone Church.
Before fans are even out of the stadium, juniors Nate Cook of Altoona, Iowa, and Bill Beck of Carroll, Iowa, are already laundering uniforms.
The athletics grounds crew maintains the field after the game.
About the photographer | Jim Heemstra is the principal photographer for VISIONS.