This past March, we took note of the city of Coralville, Iowa thinking about building a 7000-seat arena that could potentially play home to a hockey team. With Coralville just a few miles outside of Iowa City and the campus of the University of Iowa, it would be, at the very least, an intriguing option for the Hawkeyes if they were to consider a jump to Division I college hockey.
Since March, those plans have continued to make promising progress. The proposed arena received $9.5 million in tax credits from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Now, Coralville city administrators have hired Spectra Venue Management to help with the design and financial viability of the project. There is still a lot work to be done in terms of fundraising--city officials have maintained from the beginning that their goal is to open the arena debt-free, but it does seem as though things are moving in the right direction.
The University of Iowa men's and women's club hockey teams are already slated to play in the building, and with a capacity of 7000, that's the perfect size for a Division I program. City officials have also mentioned the possibility of bringing a USHL franchise to the new arena, but with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders only 20 miles up the road, the league may not want to dilute the market there.