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University of Iowa News Release


March 24, 2010

UI prepares for Obama visit, provides information for public, patients

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics patients, UI visitors and people planning to attend a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama in the Field House Thursday should be aware of special measures and information to help ensure the event runs smoothly for everyone.

The university also encourages anyone attending Thursday's speech to demonstrate courtesy and respect toward guests and one another, an expectation for participants and spectators of all campus events.

An estimated 3,000 people are expected to attend the ticketed event, which begins at 1 p.m. Thursday. President Obama will discuss the new health care legislation passed by Congress this week and signed into law by the president Tuesday. Doors open to the public at 11 a.m.

Those not attending President Obama's speech can watch it via a live stream on the White House Web site at The speech will also be carried by major news outlets.

Additionally, the UI Office of University Relations will provide live updates via the university's Twitter page at and its Facebook page at

For more information and updates on President Obama's visit, see


The deadline for registering online to enter a lottery for free tickets ended Tuesday afternoon. The White House will contact people selected to receive tickets (a maximum of two per person) by phone.

Those contacted by the White House may pick up their tickets from the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 24).


Those attending the speech are encouraged to park in one of several paid parking areas in downtown Iowa City and across the UI campus. Those areas include the Court Street Ramp, Dubuque Street Ramp, Tower Place Ramp, and Capitol Street Ramp. On campus, the UI recommends parking in the UI Main Library Lot, North Campus Ramp and the Iowa Memorial Union Ramp.

The UI Cambus will provide free shuttle service beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, with pickup on the south side of the Pentacrest downtown from the transit interchange, one block south of the Old Capitol. The bus will drop off passengers at Rienow Residence Hall, which is located directly across the street from the Field House. The shuttle will run every five minutes until 30 minutes after President Obama's speech ends.


Ticket holders must enter the Field House on the east side main entrance and will be required to pass through a metal detector.

Attendees are prohibited from bringing into the building backpacks, large bags, purses, bottles, food and signs. Non-media ticket holders are also prohibited from carrying in laptop computers.

Also prohibited are weapons, including knives of any size (such as pocketknives).

Attendees may bring cameras (but not camera cases or bags) as well as cell phones.

Field House facilities will be closed to the general public Thursday until 3 p.m., with the exception of the South Gym, which will remain open all day.

An area has been established for protestors on the grass at the northwest corner and in front of Slater Residence Hall and at the southwest corner of Rienow Residence Hall.


University employees wishing to attend Thursday's event during scheduled work hours must first check with their supervisors prior to the event to ensure adequate coverage of university operations during their absence.

Individuals may be granted release time by their department, to the extent that the workload allows. Requests for vacation or comp time may also be granted following normal scheduling practices.


Due to President Obama's visit to the University of Iowa health sciences campus on Thursday, March 25, patients with clinic visits are advised to expect slight delays due to increased traffic levels or with parking. UI Hospitals and Clinics will provide valet service at both the Pomerantz Family Pavilion and the Main Hospital Entrance for the convenience of patients with clinical appointments.

Parking for patients will also be available in hospital parking ramps. Clinic patients, including same day surgery, radiation oncology and others have received or will receive personal notification about parking arrangements. Volunteer greeters and staff will be on hand to provide supplemental escort services and directions to patients who may be parking in an unaccustomed location.

Patients with questions or concerns may call 384-8008 locally or toll-free at 1-800-322-8442 statewide for assistance.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,; Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,