Cy-Hawk 2023: What to know before you go

Fans from across Iowa are heading to Ames for the annual Cy-Hawk game. Four Republican presidential candidates are coming, too.
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
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AMES, Iowa -Fans from across Iowa are heading to Ames for the annual Cy-Hawk game. Four Republican presidential candidates are coming, too. That could mean more headaches for fans because of traffic and security.

It’s the biggest game of the year in Iowa, and presidential candidates are taking the opportunity to meet voters. Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Asa Hutchinson all plan to attend.

ISU political science professor Dave Peterson says it’s a great way to connect with voters, who may not attend traditional political events. “This is going to be a big crowd. There’s going to be a lot of folks there and it’s different from a lot of the normal rallies that they hold because these aren’t people there for politics. Right, these are people there for a college football game and that’s a crowd that’s harder to reach,” Peterson said.

Peterson says it’s also an opportunity for candidates to show more of their personal side. “Because it’s fun, right. I mean, look, if you can’t as a candidate have fun at this kind of an event, I don’t know why you’re running. And so the energy from the crowd, the excitement folks that you’re gonna meet, this is a fun opportunity for the candidates,” Peterson said.

ISU Police Chief Michael Newton says fans should expect some traffic delays.

“Traffic’s gonna be slow going with any game day. There will be these brief periods of time where they might see that some roads are closed as we bring motorcades through,” Newton said.

Newton says there may be some disruptions as candidates come to the tailgate. “You’re gonna have to be patient. Every Cy-Hawk gameday you should be patient, but this year really be patient. There may be opportunities and times where we do need to close some areas temporarily, but we worked with our partners at the Secret Service and other local law enforcement agencies to try to minimize the disruption,” Newton said.

Because of the large crowds, Newton says to be at the gates to the stadium 45 minutes to an hour early.

The high for saturday in Ames is 83 degrees. Newton says to remember to drink lots of water, especially if you’re drinking. You can bring an unopened 20 ounce water bottle, or an empty refillable water bottle, into Jack Trice stadium.

A few more reminders:

  • Tickets are all digital this year. You must have that pulled up in your apple or android wallet app because screenshots won’t work.
  • Inside Jack Trice stadium, concessions will only accepting card and mobile payments.
  • Parking lots open at 8:30, but ISU says not to arrive more than 30 minutes before then. A map of free parking lots can be found here. Campus buses also provide service on gamedays. Their routes can be found here.