Xtream Arena raises final beam
On Wednesday, a final beam was raised in a ceremony marking a milestone in the building of the new Xtream Arena in Coralville. The date marks roughly one year before the planned completion of the building.
"There's more to come," said Coralville Mayor John Lundell during Wednesday's press event. "But what a monumental day it is today to see this beam go up."
Planning for the 5,100-seat, $50 million arena — which will be home to University of Iowa volleyball as well as concerts and other shows — began in 2015. A year later the Johnson County Board of Supervisors pledged $200,000 for the arena.
"We'll have over 3,000 parking spots within a one block area of the arena," said Kelley Hayworth, the Coralville city administrator. "We believe that, 98 percent of the time, that will be sufficient."
Following a parking study it has been determined that two or three times a year it may be necessary to bus some retail and arena employees to work.
The parking spots include two new parking surfaces which will be going up between now and the arena's opening. Improvements to Ninth Street and work for new streets to increase access to the arena are out for bid and scheduled to be approved at the Sept. 10 Coralville City Council meeting, with work slated to start this fall, with completion in late summer of 2020.
Though area parking is currently free, Lundell says it is not yet clear if it will remain so.
"Parking's critical and we've known that since the very beginning," said Lundell. "There's a lot of alternatives, we could have it be totally free, we could add a dollar or two onto the cost of a ticket. We're still kind of working out those details. We have a year to figure out all of it, we just want to make sure we have enough (parking) and we do."
The arena's ground breaking occurred on May 16, 2018. At that time it was still being referred to as "Iowa Arena." At the time, Josh Schamberger, the Iowa City/Coralville Area Visitors Bureau President, referred to the project as the "final anchor tenant" of the Iowa River Landing redevelopment that started in the early 1980s.
Naming rights for the new arena were announced earlier this year. It will now be known as the Xtream Arena powered by Mediacom, a result of a 10-year marketing agreement signed with the telecommunications company.
When it is done, the 5,100-seat arena will host concerts and sporting events including University of Iowa volleyball games. The 53,000-square-foot fieldhouse within will exist alongside a hotel and office and retail spaces.
"This project will not only be great for Coralville, but it will also enrich the whole Iowa City/North Liberty area and that's something we felt it was very important to emphasize," Lundell said. "It's not just a Coralville project, it will actually serve the whole area."
Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Press-Citizen. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319)-688-4247, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet