Des Moines Buccaneers Merle Hay Mall arena construction delayed

Freeman

Des Moines Buccaneers officials are delaying development of their new hockey arena at the Merle Hay Mall. Executives with the junior hockey team announced in a news release Thursday that they are having trouble securing private funds for the project, which will turn the former Younkers department store into a […]

Des Moines Buccaneers officials are delaying development of their new hockey arena at the Merle Hay Mall.

Executives with the junior hockey team announced in a news release Thursday that they are having trouble securing private funds for the project, which will turn the former Younkers department store into a 3,500-seat arena. The Buccaneers blamed the delay on rising loan interest rates and construction costs, as well as “economic jitters.”

The mall straddles the border of Urbandale and Des Moines, and the two cities sponsored the project in a successful request for $26.5 million of state funding. They have asked the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a six-month extension on a deadline to show that the team has secured enough private money to finish the renovation.

The Des Moines Buccaneers' host a May 18, 2022, groundbreaking for a new arena to be located in the former Younkers store at Merle Hay Mall.

More:Merle Hay Mall celebrates groundbreaking for new Des Moines Buccaneers arena

IEDA officials originally asked the team to show proof of funding by the end of June. The agency’s board will consider the cities’ request during a meeting Friday.

Des Moines and Urbandale officials also have asked the IEDA to delay a deadline to raise private funds for a planned, separate training arena at the mall. The Buccaneers owners currently need to show they have the money by the end of June 2023.

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