Iowa History Daily: July 26 - Home, Sweet Dome

On July 26, 1974, crews broke ground on the UNI-Dome at the University of Northern Iowa’s Cedar Falls Campus. The home of various Panther sports teams, the facility also plays host annually to the Iowa High School football state semifinals/finals, and a host of other events.

After identifying the need for a new stadium for UNI athletics during the late 1960s, several years of fundraising culminated in the $7.5 million necessary for construction by 1974. After a groundbreaking ceremony on July 26, 1974, crews spent the following two years completing the state-of-the-art structure.

Designed by Thorson-Brom-Broshar-Snyder Architects of Waterloo, the facility featured a futuristic Teflon-coated fiberglass domed roof and AstroTurf on the football playing surface. The adaptability of the space allowed for workers to roll up the turf and assemble a removable basketball course or an all-purpose floor with running-track markings.

Constructed to hold over 16,000 people for football, the Panther faithful set the attendance record for the facility on October 17, 2009, when 17,190 crammed in to watch UNI take on Southern Illinois in football.

Although the Panther basketball teams moved out when the McLeod Center opened in November 2006, the facility still hosts a variety of events and concerts. The Rolling Stone, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead all graced stages beneath the UNI-Dome at different points in time, and many Iowans have wonderful memories of the High School State Football Championships held annually at the venue. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar #IowaOTD


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