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Businesses in Coralville hope new hockey team can bring customers

Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 11:54 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Businesses in Coralville are hoping an assist can come from their new neighbors at the Xtream Arena.

The Heartlanders, a minor league hockey team in the ECHL, hosted their first regular-season home game in Coralville on Friday. It’s their first of 36 regular-season home games at the new arena. Businesses around the venue hope that its first tenant will bring a steady stream of customers.

Darin Blum, the owner of Tribute Eatery and Bar across the street from the arena, said his restaurant saw an increase in customers during the first concert held there. He said he was hoping a hockey team would create a similar boost more regularly.

”The foot traffic here is great, obviously a lot of lodging with all the hotels nearby,” Blum said. “Hopefully, they decided to stop through an hour or so before the game and check us out before heading to Xtream Arena.”

Coralville’s arena can seat more than 5,000 people. Some fans are also traveling to Coralville from further away and buying hotel rooms, too.

John Hull, who said he’s from the Kansas City area, said he was surprised by all the options to eat and shop around the stadium.

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