Last year, a news item on Coralville, Iowa, near the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, building a brand new 7000-seat hockey arena caught our eye as a potential home for a University of Iowa hockey program.
But Iowa athletic director Gary Barta threw water on that idea, saying that Iowa had no interest in adding any additional sports at this time. Barta told The Gazette in Cedar Rapids:
"I grew up in Minnesota," Barta said. "I played hockey, I love hockey. I really do. We had a terrific year, things are getting better. But until all of our sports are at a level where I want them, it would dilute if we added sports. If we add men’s hockey, we’re going to add women’s hockey, so really you’re talking about adding two sports, so there’s a lot involved.
The disappointing part in all of this is that the Big Ten is probably at their high water mark in terms of sports funding thanks to some ludicrous TV contracts that likely won't last to infinity. If it's not getting done now, it's likely only getting done with a massive private donation similar to Penn State.
The new Coralville arena, however, is likely to pursue a USHL franchise to play out of the arena.