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Iowa History Daily: July 15 - Carver-Hawkeye Arena Groundbreaking

Iowa History Daily: On July 15, 1980, crews in Iowa City broke ground on Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The home of Hawkeye basketball, wrestling and gymnastics carries the name of prominent Muscatine businessperson and philanthropist Roy J. Carver who donated $9.3 million to the project.

Before moving into the 15,000+ seat arena in 1983, many Iowa teams played initially in Close Hall from 1902 through 1905. The first Iowa Armory, located on the current location of the University of Iowa Communications Center, welcomed crowds cheering on the Hawks from 1905 through 1922 before the second Iowa Armory from 1922 to 1926.

The Iowa Field House started a decades long tenure in 1927, but as crowds swelled with Lute Olson at the helm of the Hawkeye Men’s Basketball team during the late 1970s the 13,365-capacity venue led university officials to pursue a new facility. Funded entirely by donor support, a distinctive postmodern architectural design featuring a suspended-roof over an interior carved into the ground. The facility won an Honor Award in 1984 from the American Institute of Architects.

One the twenty-five largest college facilities in the nation, the facility underwent a major renovation which crews completed in September 2011. Site of numerous major events including championships, concerts, and graduations, an NCAA record-breaking crowd of 22,157 turned out to watch the Iowa women’s basketball team play Ohio State on February 3, 1985. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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