WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The future MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines proves Iowans are infatuated with sports. “There is no comparable facility in the metro or central Iowa area,” said Jenny Wood, communications and marketing director of the Iowa Soccer Association.
The sixty acre lot near DMACC’s west campus will include two full-sized ice rinks, basketball and volleyball courts three indoor soccer fields and five outdoor fields. Wood believes it is a true game changer. “We can’t wait. there just aren’t leagues in the winter time and there are not spaces for the youth to train,” she said.
West Des Moines city manager Tom Hadden says the Iowa Ice Sports Foundation was vital in pitching the plan to the city. “The demand for hockey and ice space is at such a premium,” said Hadden.
Ten million dollars will be raised from the private sector, another $1.5 million from grants and $18.5 million from the city`s hotel/motel tax but the real money-maker is versatility. Wood said, “Making this a multi-sport facility is really what is going to make this thing successful.” Hadden added, “If it is as successful as we think it is it is designed to be doubled. The field-house can be flipped over and we can have two more rinks.”
Critics believe the location could be a problem because it is in a five-hundred year flood plain. Hadden isn’t concerned. He said, “Certainly we looked at that. Our neighbors at DMACC West are there and Wright Tree Service and they are a foot above the flood plain. We are going to be at least three to five feet above so we are going to fill that area and they haven’t had any flood issues.”
The excitement will also be inclusive. “We are gonna look at scholarships for those that may not be able to afford the cost of hockey and programs that are expensive. We are gonna have special needs programs.” said Hadden. It will truly be something for everyone. “It’s a city attraction, and we will bring people from all the major cities in the Midwest here for tournaments.”
A formal groundbreaking will be held in the spring. Completion is expected in June of 2020. Hadden says the city is in early discussions to also make the complex a permanent practice facility for teams like the Iowa Wild and Iowa Wolves.