URBANDALE, IOWA — The Des Moines Buccaneers are joining forces with Merle Hay Mall to construct a thirty-five hundred seat hockey arena, inside the former Younkers store. The announcement came in a news release from Merle Hay Mall, the Des Moines Buc’s ownership group, the City of Urbandale, and the City of Des Moines. The new venue will have several sheets of ice, and be able to host hockey tournaments, and other events, such as e-sports tournaments.
“It’s certainly an exciting day not just for the Des Moines Buccaneers,” but for the city of Urbandale the City of Des Moines, Polk County, all of Central Iowa are hockey fans out there,” said Nate Teut, Buccaneers Team President. “It feels good to be able to share share a vision with everybody.”
Some details of the plan are still being worked out, but would include the Bucs playing inside their new home for the 2022 season. There will also be a 150 room hotel built nearby.
“This is the first of many steps we’re excited to have gotten to this day,” said Liz Holland, CEO of the Merle Hay Investors group. “We think it’s a great reuse of the Yonkers building we think it’s going to be a tremendous regional draw to that part of the city and the state and we’re just really excited.”
Inside the Mall there was a buzz about the news around the Merle Hay Mall Food Court.
This is big news for the people in the mall, and all over Urbandale area this is great for Des Moines, I think,” said David Ladd, owner of Stu’s BBQ in the Merle Hay Food Court.
The new arena could help the Bucs attract more hockey players to their team.
When you can put together a facility that we released today and have the opportunity to host our players and give them some new amenities, and opportunity to fill out their dream I’m going to play NCAA hockey and LJ hockey that’s an exciting thing,” said Teut.
“There’s nothing changing faster in the last 23 years that I’ve been doing this, than the retail landscape,” said Holland. “We’re really excited to have Merle Hay Mall, it was at the cutting edge in 1959 when it opened, and excited that it will be at the cutting edge again.”