Will Cedar Rapids Lose This 30-Year Tradition?
This year's Iowa state high school volleyball tournament could be the last one held in Cedar Rapids, after 30 years at The Five Seasons Center/U.S. Cellular Center/Alliant Energy PowerHouse.
The upstart new Xtream Arena in Coralville has thrown its name in the hat for this annual tradition, meaning Cedar Rapids could lose a major event that has brought families, visitors and their money to town for decades. Xtream Arena is home to the University of Iowa women's volleyball program, the Iowa Heartlanders ECHL hockey team, and holds 5,100 before counting floor seats for concerts and other events. A Google search indicates the PowerHouse can hold up to 9,000.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) will make a decision sometime following this year's tournament, which takes place November 1-4. A ten-year agreement was made in 2011 for the then-U.S. Cellular Center to continue hosting the event, with a detour being made to the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena for two years while the downtown venue went under post-flood construction. That ten years is now up.
While they indicate the relationship remains strong between them and Cedar Rapids to hold the tournament, IGHSAU acknowledges there is a powerful new option on the table and will listen to potential offers to make the move.
Cedar Rapids first became home to the central venue for the high school state volleyball tournament in 1991, after previously being held in various high school gyms across the state. VenuWorks representatives say they and the city of Cedar Rapids, along with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance have put in an "aggressive" proposal to keep the tradition here, which would include continued use of the PowerHouse and the DoubleTree Hotel and Convention Complex.