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i wireless Center

Moline, IL

Home of the Quad City Mallards

3.1

N/A

i wireless Center (map it)
1201 River Dr
Moline, IL 61265


Quad City Mallards website

i wireless Center website

Year Opened: 1993

Capacity: 12,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Duck Dynasty

The Quad City Mallards are a Central Hockey League (CHL) team that makes their home in the i wireless Center located in Moline, Illinois. They are named after the first version of the Mallards who played in the United Hockey League from 1995 to 2007.

Fans can thank John Deere for the i wireless Center. As part of revitalization efforts started in the 1990s, John Deere demolished its vacant riverfront factories and donated the land to the city of Moline. This area became the John Deere Commons, a collection of a hotel, restaurants, the arena and the John Deere Pavilion, as well as a museum on the agricultural history of the Midwest. Some 400,000 people visit the Commons every year, which has in turn energized the entire Moline downtown.

3.1

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

There is not much beyond the standard arena offerings, but the fare is quite good. Pizza by the slice goes for $3.75, burgers ($7) and hot dogs ($4.50). The soda is cheap, starting at $2. One stand has tasty looking meatball subs for $6.50 and French dips sandwiches for $10. The special the night I attended was chips and salsa for a buck.

The i wireless Center has two full service bars, one just to the right of the top of the escalators and another located in the club section. The bars have a couple microbrews on tab, including Goose Island's 312, and a reasonable selection in cans. The rest of the arena has domestics on tap for $6.50, but limited to Budweiser and Bud Lite. The service at all of the concessionaires did stand out. They were all very friendly and fast.

Atmosphere    3

The i wireless Center is a big arena for CHL hockey. The capacity of 12,000 dwarfs the Mallard's average attendance of about 3,000. However, as in some of the other larger CHL barns, the ducks close off the upper decks with curtains making it seem not quite as cavernous.

That being said, this is a nice arena to see a hockey game or any event. Visitors enter on the first level and take a set of escalators up to the second level. The main concourse is very wide and uncluttered. The seating is a U-shaped bowl with a ring of suites around the top. A multi-leveled bar and club area overlooks the open end of the U. The PA system is relatively clear. As an old head-banger I particularly liked the Mallards being introduced by Metallica's Seek and Destroy.

Neighborhood    4

Despite being constructed in the early 90's the venue has a modern feel inside and out. The arena is a gleaming edifice of glass and steel nestled on the eastern shore of the Mississippi River, just across from the Rock Island Arsenal. As a downtown venue, it is an easy walk from anywhere in central Moline, one of the four municipalities that make up the Quad City area, the others being Rock Island, Davenport (Iowa), and East Moline.

Right next door to the arena is a Radisson with an attached Chiles. If you are looking for some local brew pubs, a block away to the east is the Bent River Brewing Company and the Bierstube Moline. Across the street is the John Deere Pavilion, a great museum that explores the history of Midwest agriculture and has an outstanding collection of John Deere products.

Fans    3

The Mallards had a great crowd on the night I attended in March 2013. A win that night would give them a birth in the CHL playoffs, so the game was rich with intensity. The Ducks went up 3-0 into the 3rd, but the visiting Denver Cutthroats came back to force overtime. However, the home town fans left happy as the Mallards won it in OT. This area has a great history of junior and minor league hockey and it shows in the passion and intelligence of the fans.

Access    3

Moline sits on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, just across from Davenport, Iowa. Interstate 80 runs just to the north and I-74 runs right through downtown. There is plenty of parking adjacent to the i wireless Center as well as on the city streets. The Quad City Centre Station, the main bus hub, is directly across the street making transit access equally easy.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets range from $10 to $25 for on the glass seats, a bit below average for the CHL. As it is a single, lower bowl, there are no bad seats.

Extras    3

I am partial to downtown arenas. I always prefer being able to walk around a town, lodge and dine locally. Downtown arenas seem to compliment and give life to downtowns rather than be isolated in suburbia surrounded by a sea of parking. The i wireless Center was built as key component of Moline's revitalization efforts and it seems to be succeeding. Also, despite being more than 20 years old, the i wireless Center seemed like it was built in the last five years. The John Deer Pavilion across the street is also another plus.

Final Thoughts

If the Mallards are playing, it is well worth a visit. The i wireless Center is a thoroughly modern venue that is well situated in downtown Moline. The only downside is that hockey is played in the winter and Moline is in the heart of the Midwest which means it can be bitterly, bone-chillingly cold. However, you can stay warm watching hockey, touring the John Deere Commons or by stopping in one of the nearby brew pubs.

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Local Food & Drink

Bent River Brewing Company  (map it!)

1413 5th Ave

Moline, IL 61265

(309) 797-2722

http://bentriverbrewing.com/

Bierstube Moline  (map it!)

415 15th St

Moline, IL 61265

(309) 797-3049

http://www.bier-stube.com/

Local Entertainment

John Deere Museum  (map it!)

320 16th St

Moline, IL 61265

(800) 240-5265

http://www.factorytour.com/tours/john-deere-pavilion.cfm

Lodging

Radisson on John Deere Commons  (map it!)

1415 River Dr

Moline, IL 61265

(309) 764-1000

http://www.radisson.com/moline-hotel-il-61265/ilmoline

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