History of the Iowa Events Center

History of the Iowa Events Center

The Iowa Events Center complex is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication by the Polk County Board of Supervisors to enter into the convention and entertainment business. The following outlines the remarkable history of the Iowa Events Center.

June 1996

Polk County took over the operation of Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the Convention Complex from the City of Des Moines. At that point, the decision was made by the Board of Supervisors that Polk County would be in the convention business.


Polk County began building what is now known as Wells Fargo Arena and Hy-Vee Hall. Included in the Iowa Events Center complex are Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the Convention Complex.

Fall 2004

Global Spectrum (now Spectra Venue Management), the fastest-growing company in public assembly facility management, is hired by Polk County to operate the Iowa Events Center.

Fall 2004

Hy-Vee Hall opens.

July 2005

Wells Fargo Arena officially opens with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 12, 2005. Two days later Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam is the first ticketed event in Des Moines’ newest entertainment facility.

October 2010

Veterans Memorial Auditorium is closed for a 14-month construction project transforming the historical auditorium into a state-of-the-art convention facility that adds a 28,800 ballroom (divisible by two) to the Iowa Events Center, in addition to 25 new meeting rooms (plus two executive board rooms), and a tribute to all Iowa's Veterans in Veterans Memorial Hall.

January 2012

The new convention center space opens at the Iowa Events Center and is named Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veterans Memorial.