The House of Sports is a family owned and operated business that began with Jack Helgren. He started the North Iowa Tire Company in 1965 with a $2,000 bank loan. Jack worked hard and prospered in the tire business, but soon found the tire business to be a struggle in the winter months as no one was buying tires. Jack always enjoyed anything with an engine and started selling snowmobiles in 1966.
In the fall of 1969, Jack decided he needed a snowblower and bought three Ariens - one for himself and two for his neighbors. Come Spring time, the Ariens representative came to the shop and told Jack that he needed to buy lawnmowers as well IF he was going to be an Ariens dealer. Jack had no intention of being a lawnmower dealer, but he reluctantly bought some Ariens soon after. Lo and behold, the snowmobiles were selling, along with the snowblowers and mowers. Jack needed more room and rented the building next door as the tire customers started complaining about the noise from the snowmobiles and other equipment while their tires were being changed.
Similar to a lot of "mom and pop" shops, Jack's wife Elizabeth has been the secretary and bookkeeper since Day One. John Helgren (Jack's son) joined the business in 1975. Since then, The House of Sports has taken on the John Deere consumer products line along with Grasshopper lawn equipment, the full line of Bombardier products (ATV, snowmobile & watercraft) and Ariens Consumer Products. In the meantime The House of Sports has built two additions. A vacant lot west of the current site for buildings has also been purchased for possible expansion in the future.