Strike up a conversation about the best fans in college football, and the usual suspects are likely to come up. Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU, what have you. Each is a fine answer but when I think about the truest, most devoted fans in college football, I think about programs like Iowa State.
The Cyclones have seen a renewed enthusiasm under Paul Rhoads with three bowl trips in his five seasons but, to the fans' credit, their support has outpaced the actual success they've witnessed on the field. Iowa State is 9-15 under Rhoads in home games against Iowa or the Big 12. That includes a 1-4 mark in 2013. Despite that mixed success, fans show up. Iowa State hosted an average of 55,361 fans per game last fall. Jack Trice Stadium holds 55,000.
On Monday, Iowa State announced a new project that will enclose Jack Trice Stadium's south end zone, pushing capacity to 61,000. A new club space will also be added, in addition to a new HD video and sound system.
“The atmosphere of an enclosed stadium - supported by a huge video board at each end of the stadium - will significantly enhance the game day experience,” athletics director Jamie Pollard said in a statement. “This project will also enrich the presence/entrance of Reiman Gardens, an award-winning garden and conservatory located south of the stadium.”
The project will go to the state of Iowa's Board of Regents for final approval on June 5 and is expected to be completed by August 2015.