Coralville arena project moves forward - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coralville arena project moves forward

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On Tuesday, the Coralville City Council approved $50 million in loans for what will be city's new arena.

Mayor John Lundell said the council wanted to move ahead on securing steel for the project, with concerns over price increases from the tariffs enacted from the Trump Administration.

Ultimately, that decision means the city is one step closer to its new 5,700 seat arena that will break ground next month in the Iowa River Landing.

"Basically, they're ready to start driving the piles in the ground and taking off with it," said Lundell. He added that all of the underground plumbing has already been completed.

The Iowa River Landing area has been a hot spot for new businesses. Louie's Wine Dive opened its doors on Friday right across the street from where the arena will be. Lundell said it will only add to the already-bustling area.

"The impact will be huge because we'll attract a lot of outside people that will come, spend the night, and eat dinner in the restaurants and shop while they're here. It'll be great for the entire area, not just Coralville," he said.

With construction set to gear-up, area businesses are already anticipating higher foot traffic in the area.

Marquee Pizzeria opened its doors in the IRL back in November. Executive Chef, Will Evans, said they saw the potential of the area, and they see more with the looming arena.

"It's just going to make every day more and more consistent and, not only just for us, but all the other businesses," Evans said.

The city hired Spectra to manage and bring in events. Lundell said a general manager is already in the process of booking events for late 2019, when the arena expects to open.

The University of Iowa women's volleyball team has already signed on to compete there.

Lundell added that funding of the arena will be covered by naming rights and tax credits. 

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