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  • James Hilchen

Xtream Arena – Iowa Heartlanders

Photos by James Hilchen, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Xtream Arena 200 E 9th St., Suite 100 Coralville, IA 52241

Year Opened: 2021

Capacity: 5,100


Deer Crossing

Xtream Arena is a brand-new arena, having opened on October 22, 2021 when the Iowa Heartlanders defeated the Kansas City Mavericks, 7-4. The arena was built at a cost of $50 million. The arena sits in Coralville, Iowa, right next to Iowa City, which is home to the University of Iowa. In addition to the ECHL’s Heartlanders, Xtream Arena also hosts Iowa Hawkeyes women’s volleyball along with music and other events.

Food & Beverage 3

The arena offers up a decent choice of food options ranging from $4-$9. Choices include pizza from Pizza Ranch (regional chain), Caesar salads, hot dogs, polish, and turkey wraps. Snacks include pretzels, nachos, candy, and popcorn.

Coke is the soda of choice with $5 for regular size and $7 for a souvenir cup. Powerade, water, Monster Energy, and sweet tea are also available.

Domestic and premium beer along with wine and White Claw can be had for $8-$10 depending on size.

Atmosphere 4

There is a clear bag policy here, so adjust accordingly before entering the arena.

Hockey fan or non-hockey fan, it would be hard to not enjoy the experience here. Everything that goes with hockey is here, from loud music to an active mascot to junior hockey between periods.

There are no bad seat views throughout the arena. Two video boards are on opposite sides of the arena behind the nets. Ribbon board goes all the way around the arena and is utilized nicely throughout the game. Concession areas and restrooms are spaced nicely throughout the arena. Being a new arena, it’s hard not to notice how clean everything is. There are also plenty of in-game entertainment and giveaways, including chuck-a-puck, 50/50 raffles, Zamboni rides, etc.

Neighborhood 4

The arena sits amongst a retail area. As such, you have a few food and drink options well within walking distance. Right across the roundabout from the arena is 30Hop. 30Hop provides a good variety of menu items, along with a litany of drink options (90 draft beers) and a rooftop patio. Another good option is Vesta, just across Quarry Road. Vesta is a Mediterranean themed restaurant that also serves pizza and has a wide variety of drink options. If you are in the mood for pizza, Mexican, or Japanese, you are covered as well.

If staying in the area, the Hyatt Regency – Coralville is next to the arena. There are many more lodging options around the area due largely to Hawkeye sports venues being right down the road.

Attached to the arena is the Antique Car Museum of Iowa. If old cars are your thing, this is a great place to check out. While in Iowa City, another good spot to visit is the Old Capitol Museum. It was once the main building for the Iowa government, prior to the state moving its capitol to Des Moines.

Fans 3

For a new franchise, the Heartlanders have already built a good following. Heartlanders gear is well represented throughout the arena. The fans are well into the experience as soon as the team takes the ice. They know their players and are engaged throughout the game.

Access 4

Located just south of I-80, the arena is very easy to get to. Most parking is behind the arena, but you can find some on the streets leading you into the area. Once inside, the concourse is very wide, and it is easy to get around. There are restrooms sufficient for the crowds and they are located on both ends of the arena behind the goal sides. Handicap accessible seating is located behind sections 101, 105,108, 113, and 117. The only drawback is getting out of the area after the game. There are only two roads, so the traffic moves very slow. Don’t plan on getting out without a bit of a wait.

Return on Investment 3

There is ample parking around the arena and parking is free, which is always a plus. Tickets vary in price from $16 (economy seats, which are the back of sections 101-102 and 116-117) all the way up to $40, which are the seats near the ice. Note for those considering the economy seats; there is nothing wrong with the view, every seat in the arena has a great view. The economy seats have much less leg room and if you are over 6 feet tall, prepare to have your legs wedged up against the seats in the next row. You are much better off going with the $23 ticket. With average concession prices, and tickets running a bit on the high side, you do get a decent bang for your buck with the niceness of the arena and a great hockey atmosphere.

Extras 3

The Heartlanders have a really great team store. If you want to support the team, be sure and check it out.

An extra point goes to the staff at the arena. They were pleasantly assisting fans with whatever they needed.

The Heartlanders are doing a good job with community engagement and involvement in many different local programs and seem committed to the area.

Final Thoughts

The franchise is off to a good start in Coralville. Xtream Arena is a great place to watch a hockey game and the team is still in process of getting their feet situated on their new building. There is still room to grow, but in their first season, the Heartlanders already provide a quality fan experience.

Follow my sports journeys on Twitter and Instagram: @stadiumjwriter

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