The Mason City Arena is bringing new energy to downtown
Brian Pauly can sum up in one word what the brand-new Mason City Arena brings to the downtown: Energy.
As the city’s Recreation Superintendent, Brian helps manage use of this year-round facility that turned an empty department store at Southbridge Mall into the biggest bright spot in North Iowa.
The multi-purpose arena opened in December 2019, becoming the new home for North Iowa Bulls Hockey, Mason City Youth Hockey, and the North Iowa Figure Skating Club during the winter. When spring comes, the ice disappears and the arena becomes a hub for concerts, sports events, theater, trade shows, and community events.
“It creates energy,” says Brian, Mason City’s Recreation Superintendent. “I’ve heard that the Bulls have more than doubled typical attendance, and the Learn To Skate program has gone through the roof. I’ve seen the energy trickle over into the mall. People stop in and tell us they’re just amazed how different it feels.”
The downtown mall, which had been languishing, recently gained new tenants on the strength of the arena’s promise: The Sports Page bar and restaurant, River City Mini-Golf, Country Axe bar and ax-throwing, Chris’ Kettle Korn, and more. DealerBuilt, a software company for car dealerships, moved its Mason City headquarters into a former storefront.
The Mason City Arena offers fixed seating for 2,058 watching a hockey game, but Brian says that number can climb to 3,400, on up to 4,200, during the summer season, when chairs can be set up on the floor around a stage. Large-screen displays add excitement and close-up viewing for live events or screening for projections. There are smaller rooms available for meetings. >>READ MORE
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RIVERY CITY RENAISSANCE PROJECT
The Music Man Complex & Hotel
A 105-room, full-service hotel and conference center will be built in the parking lot south of Southbridge Center.
A new Skywalk will connect the hotel and conference center to The Music Man Square and Meredith Willson Museum.
With two ballrooms and more than 25,000 square feet of rentable space, this complex will accommodate large group meetings and convention events with up to 1,000 attendees.
Principal Performing Arts Pavilion
A new Plaza entrance to Southbridge Center that includes an indoor/outdoor Performing Arts Pavilion – which will serve as the new home for the Mason City Municipal Band and free city concerts for all ages and seasons.
LEARN MORE about hosting your event or group gathering in Mason City, Iowa!