" "

photo by Meythaler Photography

About The Iowa Events Center

The Iowa Events Center is a three venue, state-of-the-art multi-purpose complex located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, IA. The Iowa Events Center is owned by Polk County and managed by Spectra Venue Management, the expert in hosting and entertainment, partnering with over 300 clients at 400 global properties to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year.

Iowa Events Center facilities include:

Wells Fargo Arena

Wells Fargo Arena is a 17,000 seat arena that opened July 12, 2005. The arena has been a consistent top 100 concert facility as ranked by Pollstar Magazine. Each year Wells Fargo Arena hosts the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic, which is a showcase of all four NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball programs in the State of Iowa (Drake University, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa) as well as the Iowa High School State Wrestling and Girls and Boys Basketball Tournaments. Three professional sports teams also call the arena home, including the NBA D-League’s Iowa Wolves, the AHL’s Iowa Wild, and the IFL’s Iowa Barnstormers. In the past few years, the arena has undergone $2.5 Million of fan experience enhancements, highlighted by replacing all arena lighting with Musco LED Sports Lighting, new HD camera equipment, as well as the new, center-hung Daktronics HD Videoboard.

Hy-Vee Hall

Opened in the fall of 2004, Hy-Vee Hall is the state’s largest exhibit hall with 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and eight breakout meeting rooms. The exhibit hall is connected to an additional 50,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space in Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center.

Community Choice Convention Center

Opened in January 2012, Community Choice Convention Center is connected to Hy-Vee Hall and Wells Fargo Arena and boasts: 29 meeting rooms, the state’s largest ballroom at 28,730 square feet, and a tribute to Iowa’s military past, present and future in Memorial Hall. Originally constructed in 1955 as an auditorium before being repurposed into the state-of-the-art facility—artwork and commemorative items are displayed throughout the facility showcasing Iowa artists, paying tribute to past events, and providing a tribute to Iowa’s veterans.

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.
  • 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.

December 2015

The skywalk connecting the Iowa Events Center to Downtown closes as construction begins on the new attached 330-room convention center hotel which will be located on the corner of 5th Avenue and Park Street. The hotel is expected to open in Spring 2018.

About Spectra:

Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com. Follow Spectra on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Spectra Venue Management

Spectra’s Venue Management division is the industry leader across a full range of services that impact the bottom-line success of public assembly venues, including marketing and sales, corporate partnerships, event booking, ticket services and box office management, customer service, operations and engineering and finance and administration.

About Spectra Food Services & Hospitality

Spectra's Food Services & Hospitality division delivers the industry’s most innovative and profitable solutions through its Everything Fresh™ philosophy at sports arenas, stadiums, casinos, convention centers, cultural attractions, fairgrounds, and other specialty venues. Spectra Food Services & Hospitality serves over 250,000 events and 40 million guests each year.

About Spectra Partnerships 

Spectra Partnerships is a leader in sales representation, strategic consulting, and analytics for sports and entertainment properties across North America. Our experienced sales team drives revenue for our clients and their properties via the marketing and sale of naming rights, corporate partnerships, advertising, premium seating, and hospitality.