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Ask CITYVIEW

1/3/2024

What’s the maximum capacity of Wells Fargo Arena?

Wells Fargo Arena hosts a number of events from the Iowa Wolves, Wild, Barnstormers, countless musical acts, comedians, motocross and more. 

At most, for any of these events, the venue can hold up to 16,980 for concerts, 16,110 for basketball games, and 15,181 people for hockey and arena football games. In 2011, the Iowa Energy (now the Iowa Wolves) set an NBA D-League record (now the G-League) for attendance of a G-League finals game. The second game of the five-game series saw 14,036 fans pack the arena to witness the team’s first and only G-League title.

When it comes to concerts, according to the Iowa Events Center’s website, the most attended multi-show run was in 2016 when Garth Brooks attracted a total of 94,214 fans over six shows. For a single show, George Strait holds that record. In 2014 the country music star brought in 15,843 fans.

How thick does ice need to be for activities?

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There should be a minimum of 4 inches of clear blue ice when you’re headed out for ice fishing. 

“New ice is stronger than old ice. Before venturing out, drill test holes near shore and periodically as you move to gauge the thickness and quality of the ice,” according to the Iowa DNR website.

The other recommended guidelines provided by the DNR include, if the ice is 2 inches or less to stay off, 5 inches is safe for ATVs or snowmobiles, 8 to 12 inches for a car or a small pickup, and 12 to 15 inches for a medium-sized truck. They also advise to stay away from “off-colored” snow or ice, but you probably already knew that.

Does Des Moines use salt or brine on the roadways?

The Iowa DOT’s primary material to handle ice on roadways to combat winter storms is rock salt. According to the Iowa DOT website, the department uses approximately 200,000 tons of rock salt each year in order to clear roadways. The rock salt used is typically from underground mines in Kansas or Louisiana. The price of the salt varies each season, since the salt is purchased through a competitive bidding process in order to receive direct delivery to 113 delivery points that are managed by the Iowa DOT.

The Iowa DOT has also been using brine for several years, for many reasons. Brine is cheaper than using rock salt, using brine as a preventative measure is better for the environment, its application is less labor intensive and makes cleanup quicker, and it returns roads to normal driving conditions more rapidly. 

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