Cedar Rapids to sign long term deal with RoughRiders hockey team

The Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. The city and the RoughRiders have agreed to sign a long term lease extension. (Dave Franzman/KCRG-TV9)
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The city of Cedar Rapids has signed off on a deal that will keep the RoughRiders hockey team at the city's Ice Arena for 15 more years and possibly longer.

The agreement, approved by the city council on Tuesday, runs until the year 2032. And if the RoughRiders meet certain goals, the lease will automatically extend for 20 years beyond that.

Part of the deal requires the RoughRiders to spend at least a million dollars on upgrades to the city-owned arena.

That includes improvements to the locker rooms, weight rooms and team offices.

In return, the city agreed to build a new concession area and party decks at both ends of the ice.

The city will also replace the 20-year-old arena seats.

RoughRiders coach and general manager Mark Carlson says it's a win all the way around.

"It's only going to get better with some of the things we are doing. We think for our community, our fans, the organization there's great days ahead," Carlson said.

As part of the deal, the city and RoughRiders will change how the team pays the lease.

Instead of a per-game rental, the city will now take 100 percent of food and beverage sales.

Another change is the city, instead of the team, now has the authority to try to sell naming rights for both for the arena and the hockey ice rink.