Sports Teams of Des Moines
There are multiple things you can do here in Des Moines, Iowa, in terms of sports. Although the Hartford of the West doesn’t have a professional major league team in any sport, it is home to multiple minor league teams in several sports. We will go into detail in this article about all that.
Des Moines hosts professional minor league teams in several sports — baseball, basketball, hockey, indoor football, and soccer — and is home to the sports teams of Drake University which play in NCAA Division I. In 2017, Des Moines was ranked as the #1 Minor League Sports city in the US by SportsBusiness Journal.
The city of Des Moines is home to the Iowa Cubs baseball team of the Pacific Coast League. The I-Cubs, which are the Class AAA team of the major league Chicago Cubs, play their home games at Principal Park near the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.
Wells Fargo Arena of the Iowa Events Center is home to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League, the Iowa Wolves of the NBA G League, and the Iowa Barnstormers of the Indoor Football League. The Wild, the AHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild have played at Wells Fargo Arena since 2013; previously, the Iowa Chops played four seasons in Des Moines (known as the Iowa Stars for three of those seasons.) The Barnstormers relaunched as an af2 club in 2008 before joining a relaunched Arena Football League in 2010 and the Indoor Football League in 2015; the Barnstormers had previously played in the Arena Football League from 1994 to 2000 (featuring future NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Kurt Warner) before relocating to New York. The Iowa Energy, a D-League team, began to play in 2007. They were bought by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017 and were renamed the Iowa Wolves to reflect the new ownership.
Two other sports teams play in suburban Des Moines. The Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League play at Buccaneer Arena in Urbandale and the Des Moines Menace soccer team play at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines.
Des Moines is home to the Bulldogs of Drake University, an NCAA Division I member of the Missouri Valley Conference, primarily playing northwest of downtown at the on-campus Drake Stadium and Knapp Center. Drake Stadium is home to the famed Drake Relays each April. In addition to the Drake Relays, Drake Stadium has hosted multiple NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The Vikings of Grand View University also compete in intercollegiate athletics in Des Moines. A member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, within the NAIA, they field 21 varsity athletic teams. They were NAIA National Champions in football in 2013.
The Principal Charity Classic, a Champions Tour golf event, is held at Wakonda Club in late May or early June. The IMT Des Moines Marathon is held throughout the city each October.