Iowa State fans, students and members of the Ames community wait all year for the Cyclones to storm Jack Trice Stadium.
Coming into the most anticipated season yet, there is no doubt that Cyclone fans are excited to feel the energy and excitement that surrounds Iowa State football.
“After attending my first game I realized that Jack Trice, the students, the fan base and the team were special. The Cyclone fan spirit runs deep and it is truly a win together lose together fan base, ” Kristine Skoby said.
Skoby is a current senior at Iowa State studying chemical engineering, and has been to more than 15 home games along with a handful of away games for the Cyclones. Her love for football began at a young age and only grew stronger once she arrived at Iowa State.
Last year, the Cyclones concluded with one of the most winning and historic seasons in the program's history. Iowa State finished 9-3 overall and made a fierce appearance in the Big 12 Championship. And after a long-awaited, suspenseful offseason, Iowa State is in preparation for a highly anticipated 2021 season.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was limited capacity in Iowa State’s stadium last season, but there has been high demand for a fully packed crowd this year, to say the least. With 19 out of 22 returning starters, there is a lot in store for this upcoming season. Jack Trice Stadium is projected to hold more fans than ever before, with full capacity available and well over 47,000 seats already sold.
A driving force behind the accomplishments this Cyclone team has seen and is predicted to continue to see, is the fanbase. Students are not the only individuals who mark their calendar for game days, many others like members of the community, alumni, parents of students and even business owners gear up for the Cyclone football season.
Nykeylauna Richter, a newly graduated alum of Iowa State, said that the fanbase and the environment surrounding the football team is special.
“I have been a fan for years and I’ve gotten to grow up with these players and this coaching staff. Changes are made, strategies are exchanged, and every year it is an improvement from the last, ” Richter said.
Jack Trice Stadium is where the magic happens for these fans. With tailgate lots full of students and supporters flooding in from all over the nation, Skoby expressed how exciting the atmosphere is when surrounded by dedicated fans. And it's the little things that make the biggest difference.
“As I quickly picked up the fan cheers and fight songs I realized my Saturdays were going to be booked for the fall. There is nothing like the excitement of being in those stands and enjoying a touchdown alongside thousands of other Cyclones, dancing to "Juicy Wiggle", and hopefully ending the night to "Sweet Caroline", ” Skoby said.
David Szymanski, a season ticket holder for several years, is ecstatic to get back to Ames and take in the environment that comes with game days. Szymanski and his family purchase season tickets, as well as a parking spot to celebrate, every year.
Szymanski, along with many other fans, express the desire, and almost the need, to beat the University of Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2021 season.
“The Iowa vs. Iowa State game doesn’t get any better. I have been to some of the biggest games in the country and this is the game you wanna see, ” Szymanski said.
Szymanski expressed how the fan culture and tradition has impacted the community and the members of it, stating how integral it is to what this program brings.
“College sports are how communities build a tradition and then continue to grow. Ames is building a name but they must continue to win,” Szymanski said.
It appeared to be a common theme amongst spectators that the Cyclones are really beginning to produce and portray a unique culture that the University and the football program endure to the fullest.
“The Cyclones were not always consistently ranked in the top-25 and Cyclone fans were in their living rooms, in the lots, and at the field regardless. It goes beyond just a football team, it's a community of people who become a family when Saturday rolls around,” Skoby said.
Regardless of what happens on the field this season, the Cyclones can count on having one thing: A stadium and a fanbase full of undying passion.