Since 1995 when Young Arena opened, nearly 2 million fans have visited the building for United States Hockey League regular season or playoff games. The Waterloo Black Hawks have responded on ice by earning a home record at .500 or better in each of the last 15 years.
Last winter, the team finished at 24-4-2 in front of Young Arena crowds. As remarkable as that superb mark appears, it is actually one win shy of what the Hawks accomplished in both 2002/03 and 2006/07 when the club record was set at 25 home wins.
This week, the team revealed a new way to thank fans and the Waterloo community for making the building’s ice some of the most difficult for opposing USHL clubs to visit.
The Black Hawks will invest more than $275,000 to build new suites at the top of Sections A and T, as well as expanding the Coors Light Cold Zone in the city-owned building. These improvements will be made without asking for any public funding.
Last winter, Young Arena was the only USHL rink without permanent suite seating. The building was designed and opened just before this type of group area became a standard element of nearly every sports venue in cities of all sizes across the country. The Black Hawks’ addition of these suites to Young Arena helps move the facility among the leading rinks and arenas of similar size throughout the region.
Suite space provides a new way to party in Party Town. These areas will each have the capacity to seat 20 fans apiece each night. Multiple televisions in each box may be tuned to various sporting events, as well as a live feed of a game on the ice. Catering and beverage service will be available to help make corporate events memorable, whether the evening is devoted to top employees or loyal customers. Of course, groups of family and friends will also enjoy these spaces for birthdays, wedding parties, and other gatherings.
Meanwhile, floor space in the Coors Light Cold Zone will roughly double. The Black Hawks opened the current Cold Zone on New Year’s Eve in 2015, and it has been a popular stop for many fans. This versatile area has hosted several live music performances. The Stanley Cup appeared there in 2016 during the venerable trophy’s most recent visit to the Cedar Valley.
With additional square footage stretching forward as far as the front lobby windows, the Black Hawks anticipate more opportunities to host special events like these. The Coors Light Cold Zone will also feature additional televisions.
An aggressive timeline for both projects is being worked out now, following the completion a new lease with the City of Waterloo. The lease will last through at least the spring of 2020. Although a specific construction completion date is not yet available, the Hawks anticipate making both the expanded Coors Light Cold Zone and the Section A and T suites available to fans in time for games this autumn.
All fans interested in bringing a group to Young Arena and enjoying the new amenities are invited to call the Black Hawks at (319) 232-3444. Contact information and group details are currently being accepted for suite rental, however reservations will not be finalized until a firm completion date has been determined.
While giving Young Arena’s interior the look and feel of a newer venue, these Black Hawks investments also expand the entertainment and ticket options for fans attending hockey games in Waterloo.
The Hawks’ new lease will also lead to other expanding options which fans will notice in 2017/18. Check out waterlooblackhawks.com on Friday to learn about some of the new ticket-and-concession packages which are likely to appeal to those coming out for a hockey night with the family this winter.