Iowa Events Center

Iowa Events Center

The Iowa Events Center is a public events complex located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.


The Iowa Events Center consists of the existing Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the existing Polk County Convention Complex, the new Hy-Vee Hall, and the new Wells Fargo Arena. The new buildings were designed by HOK Sport, who were also the architects of the renovated Principal Park in Des Moines, the United Center in Chicago, and many other arenas and stadiums in the United States. The project cost $217 million, making this the largest public project in Iowa history. Funding for the project came from Polk County and its cities, private donations, and the Vision Iowa Fund that Gov. Tom Vilsack signed into law in 2000. Gambling profits from the Prairie Meadows casino in nearby Altoona are expected to pay off the debt. [cite news|first=Kevin|last=Dobbs|title=We built it... will they come?|url=|work=The Des Moines Register|date=2005-07-11|page=1A]

Construction began in early 2002 after Polk County reached a project-labor agreement with local labor unions that guaranteed favorable wages and working conditions in exchange for no work stoppages. Polk County was soon sued by right to work supporters who claimed that the use of a project-labor agreement on a public project violated Iowa's right to work laws. The lawsuit halted construction for several months, but on November 14, 2002, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in Polk County's favor. [cite news|first=Frank|last=Santiago|title=State Supreme Court upholds Polk County's labor agreement|url=|work=The Des Moines Register|date=2002-11-15|page=4A]

On April 22, 2004, Polk County agreed to transfer management of the Iowa Events Center to Global Spectrum, a Comcast subsidiary, of Philadelphia. Global Spectrum soon announced that the new Iowa Stars hockey team would be the center's primary tenant. In September 2004, Global Spectrum announced that ticket purchases will be done through Patron Solutions, another Comcast subsidiary, instead of Ticketmaster. [cite news|first=Kyle|last=Munson|title=Events Center bypasses giant in ticket deal|url=|work=The Des Moines Register|date=2004-09-21|page=3B]

Wells Fargo Arena

Named for title sponsor Wells Fargo Financial Services, Wells Fargo Arena has been the Des Moines area's primary venue for sporting events and concerts since it opened on July 12, 2005. The Iowa Chops hockey team has played there since October 2005, while the state high school wrestling and basketball tournaments have been held there since 2006. In fall 2007 it became home to the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League. [cite news|first=Tom|last=Witosky|title=Des Moines set to announce new pro basketball team|url=|work=The Des Moines Register|date=2007-02-26] The following spring, the reactivated Iowa Barnstormers arena football will play at the Wells Fargo Arena. [cite news|first=Tom|last=Witosky|title=Barnstormers revived as af2 team|url=|work=The Des Moines Register|date=2007-09-20] Wells Fargo Arena seats 15,181 for hockey games, 16,110 for basketball games, and as many as 16,980 for concerts. [cite web|author=Global Spectrum|title=Iowa Events Center - Arena Info - Wells Fargo Arena|url=|accessdate=2008-02-02]

Hy-Vee Hall

Hy-Vee Hall, which the Hy-Vee supermarket chain owns the naming rights to, is the Iowa Events Center's new exhibition hall. It features 100,000 square feet (9,000 m²) of space for trade shows, conventions, and other major events. It also features eight meeting rooms with a total of 15,000 square feet (1,400 m²) of meeting space.cite web|author=Global Spectrum|title=Iowa Events Center - About Facilities|url=|accessdate=2008-02-02] The south end of Hy-Vee Hall houses the Iowa Hall of Pride, which honors the achievements of Iowa high school athletes and performers.

Although it was still incomplete, Hy-Vee Hall hosted its first event, the Autumn Festival, from October 21 through October 23, 2004. It was formally dedicated on December 15, 2004 [cite news|first=Elizabeth|last=Owens|title=Open house showcases new building|url=|work=The Des Moines Register|date=2004-12-19|page=4B] , while the Iowa Hall of Pride opened to the public on February 23, 2005. [cite news|first=Erin|last=Morain|title=Iowa Hall of Pride opens as sports fans fill Greater Des Moines|url=|work=Des Moines Business Record|date=2005-02-20]

Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Named to honor the World War II veterans of Polk County, the 7,227-seat Veterans Memorial Auditorium opened on February 1, 1955. It previously served as the home for the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team from 1995-2000 (AFL) and 2001 (af2), and it was also the longtime home of the Iowa State high school basketball and wrestling tournaments until 2005. Vets continues to be used for smaller arena events and exhibitions after the opening of Wells Fargo Arena.

Polk County Convention Complex

Formerly named "the Plex," the Polk County Convention Complex opened in 1985. It features 60,000 square feet of exhibition space on two levels and 27 meeting rooms. Polk County originally planned to close the Convention Complex when Hy-Vee Hall opened, but they decided to transfer management of the building to Global Spectrum in August 2004. [cite news|first=Frank|last=Santiago|title=Manager, Polk ink arena deal|url=|work=The Des Moines Register|date=2004-08-24|page=1A] While the Convention Complex is located south of the other buildings, Global Spectrum markets it as part of the Iowa Events Center.


External links

* [ Iowa Events Center]
* [ Iowa Hall of Pride]
* [ Iowa Events Center photo gallery] from

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