Roughriders score 15-year deal to stay in Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) - After months of speculation the Roughriders USHL team might skate down the corridor to a new sports arena in Coralville, Tuesday it finalized a deal to make Cedar Rapids 'Rider Town USA' for at least 15 more years. The Cedar Rapids City Council unanimously approved the new long-term lease and Roughriders Hockey Club Co-President Doug Miller says everybody wins, " We couldn't be happier, we're excited to be here for many years to come. Cedar Rapids is a great town, it's an amazing city and it welcomed us for the last two decades with open arms, we are the Cedar Rapids Roughriders and that's where we're staying."
The new agreement means the hockey team will have rent free use of the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena and the city will receive all profits from the concessions. It also stipulates both the city and the team will invest more than $1-Million into the 19-year-old ice facility over that time for improvements which include new seats, new HDTV video capabilities, a new scoreboard, fan decks for group gatherings and more concession stands.
City Council Member Scott Olson says it isn't just about sports. He says having professional teams is a quality of life issue which speaks to a community's ability to provide entertainment and family events. He says with the Roughrider lease up next year, it was also critical to work out a deal now, " We are all aware that there's a new facility being built in Coralville that will have an ice component. We wanted to make sure we had a team that was going to be here. It's definitely brought an excitement to the city over the years. "
Olson says he's fairly certain Coralville will eventually have another hockey team at its new arena and he says that just makes Eastern Iowa a stronger area for sports with a great rivalry that can develop between the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, the Waterloo Black Hawks, the Dubuque Fighting Saints and that new Coralville team of the future. The announcement the Roughriders are inking a multi-year deal in Cedar Rapids, comes on the same day the Quad City Mallards minor league hockey team revealed it will cease operations at the end of this season.