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Feature

Young hospital patients can soon watch American football games at Kinnick Stadium

Patients at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital will soon be able to watch Iowa Hawkeyes college football games at Kinnick Stadium from prime viewing locations in the building.

The Hawkeyes kick off their Big Ten Conference season in less than two weeks’ time, and children unfortunate enough to be hospitalised can now look forward to watching a game from a playroom at the 70,000-capacity venue.

Gwen Senio, a manager of Child Life at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said that having a room to play in that has a view of the field has been a long-term plan.

She added that the six play rooms on the upper floors will be reserved only for patients and immediate family on game days.

“The location couldn’t be better if you’re a Hawk fan and I think even being so close to the stadium a lot of folks don’t realise they’re Hawk fans until they come but it really gives them that first-hand experience and almost that feeling that you’re right there at the game,” said Senio, according to KCRG’s news website.

“That it wouldn’t feel like a hospital, that it would have that element of wow and I think it almost does take your breath away when you see it for the first time.”

One 14-year-old patient, who had the opportunity to watch the annual kickoff game at Kinnick last Friday, Isaac Mussman, said: “It was pretty cool. The fireworks were the most exciting part.

“Some kids who don’t get to go to games, they can sit up here and watch the football game with their family that’s visiting them and have a good time.”

Senio said: “We have a great partnership with our security folks who will be screening anybody that comes to the hospital to make sure that they’re actually there to visit patients.”

The first game of the season at Kinnick Stadium is against the Wyoming Cowboys on September 2.

Image: Count de Des Moins