Home KSCJ News UNI, IHSAA announce five-year extension for high school state football playoffs

UNI, IHSAA announce five-year extension for high school state football playoffs

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) have announced a continued partnership that will keep the state high school football playoffs in the UNI-Dome through the 2027 season.

Since the opening of the UNI-Dome in 1976, an average of over 25,000 spectators have come to Cedar Falls over a two-week period in November for the IHSAA’s semifinal and championship games, ranging from the eight-player division to the large Class 5A schools. The 2022 playoffs drew an estimated 54,000 people over the course of 14 semifinal and seven championship contests.

“The IHSAA is excited to continue its partnership with the University of Northern Iowa to host our football semifinal and championship games at the UNI-Dome,” said IHSAA Executive Director Tom Keating. “This agreement extension ensures that high school football players and teams can continue to pursue the “Road to the Dome” and fans may continue to enjoy attending those games out of the elements and in the comfort of the UNI-Dome.”

One of the most recognizable events held annually in the UNI-Dome, the IHSAA state football playoffs have contributed to the UNI-Dome’s estimated $17 million in annual economic impact.

“For decades, countless young men in Iowa have pursued the goal of reaching the UNI-Dome and hoisting a state football championship trophy,” said UNI Director of Athletics David Harris. “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with the IHSAA in bringing the final two weeks of the Iowa high school football season to the UNI-Dome, our campus and our community. The unmatched atmosphere of the UNI-Dome has helped create countless memories for young student-athletes around our state, and we are excited to help continue that tradition in making more memorable moments come to life.”

As high school football continues to be played inside the UNI-Dome, the IHSAA recently invested in the long-term improvement of the facility, contributing to UNI’s three-phased, $50 million renovation of the stadium, a cornerstone project of the university’s Our Tomorrow campaign in conjunction with UNI’s 150th anniversary celebration, as well as the 50th anniversary of the UNI-Dome itself in 2026.

For more information and to view the renderings, visit the UNI-Dome renovation website, unidomerenovation.com. Additional questions about the UNI-Dome renovation can be sent to Jamar Thompson, Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs, at 319-273-7817 or jamar.thompson@uni.edu.

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