The University of Iowa

Carver-Hawkeye Arena

1 Elliott Dr
Iowa City, IA 52242
Carver Crowd, Floor, Stage, and Scoreboard

Spring 2024 Ceremonies for Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Carver-Hawkeye Arena Information and Policies

Carver-Hawkeye Arena has several commencement-related policies that graduates and guests should review in advance of the ceremonies.

Parking | Entering the Arena | Security Policy (Allowed/Prohibited Items)Information for Guests with Disabilities or Limited Mobility

Parking

Due to construction, traffic congestion around Carver-Hawkeye Arena is expected during commencement, so please allow extra time for your travel and parking.

Complementary parking for commencement at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is available in the locations listed here:

  • Parking will be available on a first-come first-served basis within walking distance at parking lots 40, 33 (Dental Visitor), 43 (Kinnick), 65 (Finkbine), and 75 (Arena Commuter). 
  • Guests with disabilities who have a state-issued ADA parking placard or license plate will be permitted to use Lot 46, adjacent to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. From Lot 46 guests should enter through the west doors.

Please Note: Accessible parking in Lot 46 is limited to a first-come first-served basis. Once full, drop-offs will be allowed and then drivers will be directed to overflow accessible parking in Lot 40. Guests dropped off in Lot 46 should enter through the west doors.

If you have specific questions on event parking, please contact the collegiate commencement coordinator of your ceremony in advance.

Entering the Arena

Doors to the arena will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony.  Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony. No tickets are required for any ceremony at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

  • Guests should enter through the south and west doors.
  • Graduates only may use the east doors for express entry. Graduates are not required to enter through the east doors but it is highly recommended. 
  • The north doors are not open to the public. They are for staff, volunteers, and platform officials only.

Please Note: Traffic delays should be expected at all venues. Areas surrounding Carver-Hawkeye Arena will likely be congested with traffic from other campus events; please plan accordingly. 

Security Policy

Commencement ceremonies at Carver-Hawkeye Arena follow the clear bag policy. Additional information about Allowed and Prohibited Items can be found below.

Campus Safety officials will search all bags brought into the building. Everyone will be asked to open their coats or commencement gowns for visual inspection.

Allowed Items

The following items are allowed inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. All permitted items and patrons are subject to search and will be tagged at entrance.

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC that do not exceed 12″x6″x12″
  • Clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5″x6.5″
  • Factory-sealed water bottles or empty, refillable bottles [Limit one (1), under one (1) gallon]
  • Medically necessary items (includes equipment for nursing mothers and diaper bags)

Clear Bag Flyer

Prohibited Items

The following items are NOT allowed inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Admission will be denied to anyone carrying the following items.

  • Wrapped gifts, balloons, flowers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Backpacks, purses, handbags and/or cinch bags (Please refer to the Allowed Items for bag guidance)
  • Banners and signs
  • Coolers, glass containers, backpack hydration systems, or refillable water bottles over one (1) gallon
  • Large lens cameras (6″ or more), video cameras or tripods
  • Noisemakers, strobe lights or any other disruptive devices
  • Outside food (unless medically indicated)
  • Non-service animals
  • Strollers or car seats
  • Tobacco of any kind (including e-cigarettes)
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons of any kind

 

No outside food or drinks are allowed except one sealed water bottle or empty refillable bottle per student and/or guest.

During spring ceremonies limited items will be sold at concession stands on the main concourse. Items include bottled beverages with lids and packaged food.

Please note: all transactions will be cashless. Credit, debit, and mobile pay accepted.

Information for Guests with Disabilities or Limited Mobility and Elevator Policy

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the collegiate commencement coordinator of the ceremony you're planning to attend.

All ceremonies will have an ASL sign language interpreter present and will be livestreamed with captions enabled.

There is NO PUBLIC ELEVATOR USAGE available during commencement. Elevator policy can be found below.

Seating for guests is accessible from the upper concourse level, which is at ground level where you will enter. Guests with disabilities or limited mobility can find seating in the Feller Club Room. This room is equipped with large television screens and commencement ceremonies can be watched live from here. No food or beverage will be permitted in this room.

Guests with disabilities are also welcome to view the ceremony from the upper concourse level. Wheelchair and scooter spaces can be found in sections K – N on this level. Space is limited so we ask that guests seat themselves and two companions in this area. Guests should provide their own wheelchair if needed.

A sign language interpreter will be on-stage to interpret the ceremony.

Evening and Weekend Carver-Hawkeye Arena Commencement Ceremonies

Guests with disabilities who have a state-issued ADA parking placard or license plate will be permitted to use Lot 46, adjacent to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. From Lot 46 guests should enter through the west doors.

Please Note: Accessible parking in Lot 46 is limited to a first-come first-served basis. Once full, drop-offs will be allowed and then drivers will be directed to overflow accessible parking in Lot 40. Guests dropped off in Lot 46 should use the west doors.

The policies described below have been reviewed by the state fire marshal, the UI fire safety coordinator, and the UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity to ensure safety and accessibility for UI students and family members.

There is NO PUBLIC ELEVATOR USAGE available during commencement.

During a UI commencement at the arena, elevator use may be limited to staff and special event participants, such as faculty or graduates at a graduation ceremony. This is to prevent persons with mobility issues from using the elevator to access the floor, only to be trapped there in the case of a fire or other emergency.

Seating at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is designed to allow emergency evacuation through the exits on the upper concourse and/or the floor tunnel. Because the floor tunnel may become blocked by a fire or other obstruction during an emergency, the university requires that attendees with mobility issues not be seated on or near the floor; they must be seated in the Feller Club Room or on the upper concourse level. During a fire or emergency, elevators may not function and floor-seated attendees unable to navigate stairs might not have an exit pathway. Floor seating is generally reserved for graduates, faculty, and special guests. Concourse seating is available for all other attendees.

Attendees with disabilities or limited mobility may find seating in two places, both of which are level with the West doors entrance and do not require attendees to navigate steps or use an elevator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m a Hawkeye fan who is unable to go up and down stairs, and I go to games at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena all the time. They’ve never made me sit on the concourse before. Why do I have to sit on the concourse at a graduation?

A: Evacuation procedures approved by the state fire marshal require attendees seated on the floor to exit the building through the floor tunnel. However, because the floor tunnel may be blocked by a fire or other obstruction during an emergency, procedures require trained staff to carry persons with mobility issues up the stairs to concourse exits.At graduation events, those trained staff are generally not available; therefore state law requires that persons with mobility issues be seated on the upper concourse.

Q: Why can’t I just use the elevator?

A: During a fire, state law requires that the elevators shut down for the safety of attendees. This is to prevent attendees from becoming trapped inside a damaged elevator.

Q: I’ve attended graduation events at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2007 and 2008, and was allowed to sit in floor seating then. Why can’t I now?

A: In May 2012, following building renovations, the state fire marshal, the UI fire safety coordinator, and the UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity determined that for safety reasons access to the floor via the elevators during non-university sponsored events should be limited to staff who are working the event and graduates who may need access to the elevator. Accessible seating for those who are unable to navigate the stairs is designated on the concourse.