XTREAM Arena draws customers to Coralville restaurants, businesses

The arena continues to bring in more people and businesses to the Iowa River Landing area nearly two and a half years after its opening.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Fire is set ablaze during day two of the 2022 Soldier Salute College Wrestling Tournament at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022.

Natalie Miller, News Reporter

Since the Xtream Arena’s opening in September 2020, its economic impact sparked the growth of businesses in the Iowa River Landing and Coralville areas.

Over 5,000 Xtream Arena patrons flood the Iowa River landing during events. The arena, located at 200 E. 9th St., is home to the University of Iowa’s volleyball team and the Iowa Heartlanders’ professional minor league hockey team. It was slated to have an economic impact of over $1.4 billion over a 20-year period, according to the City of Coralville.

Coralville Mayor Meghann Foster said the Iowa River Landing has seen more visitors since the arena’s opening.

“It is not unusual to see on the weekends and during the week when we have these big events to see a lot of foot traffic, a lot of actual traffic, and people not only enjoying the event they came to the area for but enjoying all the other amenities the River Landing has to offer,” Foster said.

The arena hosts concerts, high school sporting events, UI sporting events, and various rec and club sporting events.

RELATED: Xtream Arena to serve as star attraction for Iowa corridor communities – The Daily Iowan

Restaurants in the area such as Tribute Eatery and Bar and 30Hop Coralville are located directly across from Xtream Arena. Employees at both institutions said they often see a surge in business on days when big events take place across the street.

Tribute Eatery and Bar opened November 2020 — shortly after Xtream Arena’s opening — general manager Blake Laughton said.

The restaurant has protocol measures put in place when an event is set to be at the arena, such as ensuring there are enough of his employees available to cover the night, Laughton said.

“We can definitely tell when there’s an event at the arena … It’s a big part of our business,” Laughton said.

Additionally, Laughton said he tries to ensure he has products in stock that will complement what events are going on at the arena.

“Toby Keith was one where we expected that there’d be so many people at the concert where we would set up to sell extra Busch Light and White Claws — that’s not part of our normal service,” he said.

30Hop opened on the Iowa River Landing eight years ago. General manager Mike Osaro echoed Laughton, saying it is essential to the restaurant that there is enough staff when events are held at the arena.

Osaro said he sees many groups of people come through the restaurants when events occur at the arena. The restaurant sees a lot of families when the Iowa Heartlanders are in town and when youth and high school events are held at the arena.

“Anything that gets everyone together gets everyone excited,” Osaro said. “Depending on if it’s a concert or something, sometimes it’s just groups of friends.”

Foster said many people visit the Iowa River Landing and the arena from not only all over Iowa but all over the world.

“We had the Wrestling World Cup as well as the men’s and women’s tournaments,” Foster said. “Those are people who are visiting our community from all over the globe.”

Foster said she is proud to see how far the Iowa River Landing has come over the years.

“We are really proud of what we’re seeing in the arena. We’ve always viewed it as the last big piece of the redevelopment of that area,” she said.