5,100 seat Hockey Arena breaks ground by Iowa’s Campus

Discussion in 'NCAA, U Sports, and other college' started by razor ray, May 25, 2018.

  1. razor ray

    razor ray Registered User

    May 8, 2011
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  2. JMCx4

    JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

    Sep 3, 2017
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    St. Louis, MO
    All VERY wishful thinking by Mr. Dochterman. Even with sanctioned high school ice hockey in the state (as it is in Missouri), standing up & sustaining NCAA hockey is a time and budget-consuming endeavor. The "vibrant audience" he refers to are still relatively small in number, and their loyalties are & are likely to remain with their junior teams or with the Iowa Wild AHL team. Those fan bases form a "niche" with little room for expansion in a state where ice hockey is not supported nor even seriously considered by the general populace. As for the USHL teams providing "a natural feeder system" for an envisioned University of Iowa NCAA men's hockey team, the university program would require many years of development & success before those boys would consider pursuing Iowa as their primary choice for an education and/or a stepping stone to the NHL. Speculation is one thing; gaining legs (with skates at the end) is quite another.
  3. sbkbghockey

    sbkbghockey Registered User

    Aug 26, 2008
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    Sport Management
    at the ice rink, USA
    One of the biggest issues I have for this project is all the reports on the area reference it will host hockey but I get the impression it's more of a "build it and they will come" situation by the city. It'd be a pretty small market for pro hockey and a lot of competition for entertainment dollars with a Big10 University down the street (maybe SPHL but couldn't likely support higher level pro). For the USHL, Coralville is 26 miles from Cedar Rapids and largely included in CR's market. This likely extends to the RoughRiders so I don't see the USHL putting at team that close.

    If Iowa would go NCAA DI, they'd get USHL alumns fairly quickly. The USHL is a primary feeder for DI hockey and even if it 'd take them time to produce high level NHL prospects, they'd still get college-ready USHL recruits. Penn State and ASU have former USHL players in their lineups fairly quickly after starting NCAA programs.

    HS Hockey in Missouri is unsanctioned like in Iowa. In some states hockey is sanctioned by the states' high school sports governing body but in most it's indy "club" sport at high schools or even if fully sponsored by the school, operated under a separate USA-Hockey affiliated governing body. I agree with JMCx4 that even if HS hockey is sanctioned, it's really not a feeder for NCAA hockey. Outside of Mass. Prep School and Minnesota, high school hockey does not provide a fairly steady stream of college-ready recruits. (even in those states, most MN and Mass. kids play juniors).
  4. Barclay Donaldson

    Barclay Donaldson Registered User

    Feb 4, 2018
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    There were 5 NHL-sponsored NCAA feasibility studies done recently. 2 of them were Oakland University in Michigan and University of Illinois. The last name will be released when it's done and the two others won't be released, one of them highly suspected to be Pitt and I'm pretty positive Iowa isn't on that list. However, in the released studies, building the arena was the biggest funding obstacle (Illinois was quoted ~$85 million in one time start-up costs) and Title IX was second. Iowa is past the first hurdle because they have the arena funded and ready to be built.

    With that being said, the Big 10 has been pushing to fill up their conference to help fill time on their TV channel during the winter. They're the only conference in NCAA D1 that isn't hockey-only and they're trying to consolidate their collegiate standing by sponsoring hockey. Expect anything remotely resembling interest in hockey at Big 10 schools to get blown up like this has. Rutgers started rehashing the Buccigross support again after Penn State had their (Pegula funded) success. Then the Big 10 promoted the hell out of having 3 of the Frozen 4 teams this year.

    Count out non-Iowa University hockey starting up there. USHL isn't looking to expand and it took a long time to sell an overpriced expansion franchise to Lamar Hunt Jr. that will be put in KC. Plus, ticket-driven junior hockey in the US is generally in limbo right now so don't expect it in Iowa City from any league. It's too far away for the SPHL, isn't a proven hockey market so the ECHL won't even give it the time of day.

    However, they do have the facility and that's the biggest thing preventing schools from going. If they find a way to get through Title IX and the scholarships, they would be a great addition to the college hockey landscape.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    JMCx4 likes this.

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