The venue is not quite as slick as the new one in Wichita; nor does it have the history of the Coliseum in Denver, yet it is a fantastic place in which to watch the Central Hockey League’s Missouri Mavericks. It is also home to the Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League, as well as concerts and other events. A nice feature of the venue is the adjoining Community Ice Center – a year round ice center for public skating, lessons, and parties.
The Mavericks began play in the 2009–10 season and has established itself as a fan-favorite team in the Kansas City suburb of Independence.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Independence Events Center has a variety of food offerings in four distinct concession areas plus the Presidents Club area.
Specialties include, the 'Mighty Mo' Dog (dog topped with regional santé fe chili, cheese, onion, sour cream, and corn chips) for $6.00.
Also, Fritz's (local sausage company) is offered on the menus (polish/italian/brat) for $6.50. BAR-B-Q beef brisket, pulled pork, and burnt ends from legendary Kansas City Zarda's is offered for $8.50 near sections 105/106 - these sections are known as the Presidents Club.
Carts with pretzels, cotton candy, popcorn, kettle corn, gelato, Fiesta Fare (nachos), smoothies at Maui Wowi, etc. are spread throughout the concourse.
Beer is mostly Bud and Bud Light but you can get a local brew or two at the full service bar in the Presidents Club area.
When entering a stress free security/gate check, one is offered a free game day program. This program includes player information, hockey rules and lingo, plenty of Mavericks photos, and advertisements. The gates open 1 ˝ hours before the first puck is dropped.
Seats in the arena are cushioned and have cup holders. There's not an excessive amount of leg room. Those with longer legs may want to try for an aisle seat. If you want to sit center ice, facing the player benches, above the glass - I'd recommend sections 104 and 105 row M and higher. In the arena, there is one level of seating plus a second level for suites.
There is no center scoreboard hanging from the rafters which I found quite refreshing as I could view the other side of the rink. The arena offers video displays on each side of the ice as well as score boards with stats (period, time outs left, SOG, penalty info, etc.) on each end behind the goals. It is very nicely done.
The music, PA, and temperature levels are absolutely perfect. Not too high; not too low. No need to bundle up or bring ear plugs.
There are plenty of promotions during the game and between periods: coupons floating from the rafters, a binocular giveaway, player trivia contests, pizza giveaway, etc. Be sure to sign up at the fan center table pre-game to participate in these contests.
I'm not a big mascot fan but this one and his new sister did their thing on the ice and in the stands and stayed out of my way. This is another hockey arena where the Canadian flag is smaller than the US which I've never figured out why that is done, especially when all but four of the active players are from Canada.
Independence is mostly known as the home of the United States 33rd President, Harry Truman. There are several museums and sites honoring this President in the city that are very worthwhile checking out when in town.
If time permits, do visit the Harry Truman Library & Museum. There is a #33 Truman banner hanging from the rafters at the arena - nicely done in honor of this US President.
There are several hotels and chain restaurants within walking distance (˝ mile) to IEC but I wouldn't necessarily call it a neighborhood. Holiday Inn Express and Comfort Suites are hotels nearby. Food chains include: RibCrib, Hooters, Carrabba's, Outback Steakhouse, and bd Mongolian Grill. Caveat: walking distance depends on the temperature outside in wintertime.
There is a shopping mall across the I-70 highway that might provide entertainment if shopping is your thing.
The game I attended in early 2013 was a sell-out. More importantly, 98% of the seats had bodies in them. From talking with fans in my area and the ushers, this is normal.
And, at this game, 95% of them stayed to the end to watch the Mavericks win in an 8-man sudden death shootout. They have your standard hockey chants about the opposing team and goalie that is shouted more out of tradition than bitterness.
Many fans wear Mavs jerseys (which contains the color orange) and have quite a few have orange wigs on their heads (hence the name Orange Army). There is a face painting stand on the concourse and many fans partake in this artistic display of devotion to the team.
Even though I was wearing the opposing team's logo, no-one gave me a hard time and some even asked if I traveled with the team.
The Independence Events Center is about 1 mile off I-70 so getting to the arena is easy. As mentioned above, there are hotels within walking distance which is always a convenience. It is about 40 miles from KCI (Kansas City International Airport) and not a bad drive. It does not appear the bus service in Independence is operational during normal hockey game hours.
There is ample and free parking at the venue. There are two entrances; either one is fine.
The concourse seems crowded to me. There are lots of tables for sponsors, chuck-a-puck sign up, and etc. which cramp the flow of people movement a bit. One cannot easily walk the entire concourse without having to travel through the seats. If you time it right, there appears to be one area at the end of the concourse where you could watch the players pass as they take the ice.
Restrooms serve their purpose and are clean but do expect a line between periods and after the game.
After the game, expect a delay in getting out of the parking lot. There is only one entrance into the venue; though they do open up an extra lane when exiting after the game. One exit only goes right out of the venue; the other only goes left onto East Valley View Parkway. If you're not in a hurry, I'd recommend just waiting around till the parking lot mess is over. Get a player's autograph and/or chat with an usher to pass the time.
At first, ticket prices seemed high to me but after comparing single game seats to the other CHL venues, they appear on par with the other teams. I did not notice a whole lot of ticket promotions on the Mavericks website. A $3 charge is added to the price of the ticket when purchasing the ticket the day of the game which seems high to me. My recommendation: get your tickets in advance and at the box office which eliminates the Ticketmaster and game-day fees.
A game-day roster (both teams) costs $1 and it includes the photos of the players scheduled to sign autographs after the game. Recommendation: Get one.
Parking is free and food and drink prices are similar to other CHL arenas.
I received my 'First Mavericks game photo and certificate' at the fan relations table. I'm sure it's meant for kids but some of us adults like it for our scrap books or maybe we're just kids at heart.
There appears to be a player autograph session after each game which is a wonderful way to get a signature and/or photo and pass the time to exit the arena parking lot.
The team merchandise store has a variety of different memorabilia: lapel pins, pennants, jerseys, t-shirts, aprons and spatulas (for bbq and grilling in the KC area), etc. Just lots of items for those who collect trinkets from stadiums visited.
Although their website isn't the best, the Mavericks do have their own blog (called the Sin Bin) with frequent posts. Check the media link above.
I can't say enough for having a packed house game after game.
Attended at the last minute and was surprised at the turnout. Nearly a full house. Lucked out with a cheap ticket outside, which included a free hot dog. Fans are energetic but still learning the game. Only a few miles from the stadium complex in KC, so check for a DH possibility if the Chiefs are home. Had no problem getting out of the lot. Good mascot and promotions and it's no surprise to see banners celebrating three straight seasons as the franchise of the year. A hidden gem.
500 W US Highway 24
Independence, MO 64050
19901 E Valley View Pkwy
Independence, MO 64057
19751 E Valley View Pkwy
Independence, MO 94057