The Iowa Supreme Court has sided with DMPS in the dispute over the new Drake Stadium

  • Save Our Stadiums opposes building a joint stadium on the Drake University campus for four of the district’s high schools
  • An attempt was made to force a public referendum on the plan, but the district said SOS did not get the required number of signatures on its petition to hold the vote
  • The group sued, challenged the county’s math and lost in county court
  • On appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court sided with the district court and the school district
  • The stadium is already under construction and an SOS lawyer says the challenge is over

The Iowa Supreme Court has dropped an attempt to call for a public referendum on the controversial construction of a joint Des Moines Public Schools athletics stadium on the Drake University campus.

The court ruled in a decision Friday that a district court was right in dismissing a lawsuit brought by Save Our Stadiums challenging the school system’s rejection of the group’s referendum motion. The district said the group failed to obtain the required minimum number of signatures.

The $19.5 million, 4,000-seat stadium is under construction east of Drake’s Knapp Center. The stadium will serve as the home stadium for four of Des Moines’ five high schools and will also host high school and Drake football games.

Save Our Stadiums argued that the shared stadium would harm the community spirit and fundraising for student-athletes at the four high schools — Hoover, Lincoln, North, and Roosevelt — who are giving up their home facilities or, in Roosevelt’s case, planning to close them to build. Under state law, district residents can force a referendum with a petition signed by residents who account for at least 30% of voters in the previous school board election.