Iowa vs. Penn State men's basketball, 2008
|Former names||Hawkeye Sports Arena (planning)|
|Location||1 Elliot Drive|
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
|Operator||University of Iowa|
|Broke ground||July 15, 1980|
|Opened||January 3, 1983|
|Construction cost||$18.4 million|
($46.3 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Caudill Rowlett Scott|
|Structural engineer||Geiger Berger Associates|
|Iowa Hawkeyes men's and women's basketball, gymnastics, volleyball, and wrestling|
Carver–Hawkeye Arena is a 15,400-seat multi-purpose indoor arena located in Iowa City, Iowa. Opened in 1983, it is the home court for The University of Iowa Hawkeyes men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the university's wrestling, gymnastics, and volleyball teams. It was named for the late industrialist Roy J. Carver of Muscatine, Iowa, a prominent statewide booster, who donated $9.2 million to The University of Iowa before his death in 1981. Prior to the arena's opening, Iowa's athletic teams played at the Iowa Field House.
Entirely funded by private contributions, the arena was expected to be open for the 1982–83 school year, but weather slowed construction to the point where the first event was held on January 3, 1983. Iowa's wrestling team defeated Oklahoma and two days later, the men's basketball team played their first game – a loss to Michigan State – in the new arena.
Notable athletic events in the arena include the Big Ten and NCAA wrestling championships, the National Duals, the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials in 1984 and 2012, the UWW World Cup in 2018, and the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament.
The arena also serves as the site of commencement exercises for several of the university's colleges, and has hosted concerts by artists such as U2, Whitney Houston, Stevie Nicks, *NSYNC, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Old Dominion, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and speeches by Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as well as Desmond Tutu and Jane Goodall. Carver-Hawkeye also hosted many events in place of Hancher Auditorium and Cedar Rapids' U.S. Cellular Center while both venues underwent renovations after the Iowa flood of 2008.
Iowa basketball and wrestling teams initially competed at a building named the "Armory", which was located on the east bank of the Iowa River. With a capacity of 3,000, the Armory was easily large enough, considering that the fan support Iowa's teams received in that era was much less than it is today. Later, in 1927, the Iowa Field House was opened during Paul Belding's tenure as athletic director. Considered as a "magnificent structure for its day", the Field House was home to Iowa's basketball and wrestling teams, and included an indoor track and a swimming pool.
The Field House, however, was known for its steel balconies and sub-par acoustics, along with columns that obstructed views. When demand was high for Hawkeye basketball, bleachers were placed behind the baskets, allowing some 15,000 to attend games. Season ticket sales skyrocketed during the highly successful tenures of head coaches Ralph Miller and Lute Olson, and support for a new arena gradually increased. Following approval from the Iowa Board of Regents, construction of Carver–Hawkeye Arena began.
On December 6, 2008, Iowa set the national collegiate wrestling dual meet attendance record as 15,955 fans packed the arena for Iowa-Iowa State match. The previous record of 15,646 was set Feb. 1, 2002, when Minnesota hosted Iowa at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Tom Brands, Brent Metcalf, and Tony Ramos are the only Hawkeye wrestlers to never lose a match during their college career in Carver–Hawkeye Arena.
In 2016, a new scoreboard was added to the arena. It measures at 14.5 feet high by 26 feet wide.
On the 7th-8th April, 2018 Carver–Hawkeye Arena took senior freestyle wrestling international tournament World Cup 2018.
- McNeil, Heidi (July 16, 1980). "Arena Ground Broken, Bagged" (PDF). The Daily Iowan. University of Iowa. p. 8. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- Architecture: the AIA journal, Volume 73, Issues 4-6. New York: American Institute of Architects. 1984. p. 384.
- Carver–Hawkeye Arena: Celebrating 25 Years. University of Iowa, 2008.
- Carver–Hawkeye Arena: The Home of the Hawkeyes webpage (HawkeyeSports.com: Facilities)