photo by Meythaler Photography

About The Iowa Events Center

The Iowa Events Center is the state’s premier convention center and arena, located in downtown Des Moines. The Iowa Events Center is owned by Polk County and managed by OVG360, a division of Oak View Group. OVG360 is a full-service venue management and hospitality company that helps client partners reimagine the sports, live entertainment, and convention industries for the betterment of the venue, employees, artists, athletes, and surrounding communities. 

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. Wells Fargo Arena has hosted 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 each year hosts the Iowa High School State Wrestling and Girls and Boys Basketball Tournaments. Three professional sports teams also call the arena home, including the NBA G-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 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.

March 2018

  • The newly constructed Hilton Des Moines Downtown opened its doors on March 21, 2018 as the only hotel directly connected to the Iowa Events Center.

June 2022

  • The Iowa Hall of Pride museum closed it's doors on June 30, 2022 after 17 years in Level 1 of Hy-Vee Hall. Although the in-person celebrations ended, people can still learn about hundreds of talented Iowans as the program will live on through the Iowa High School Athletic Association's online program, Achieve.

About Oak View Group (OVG):

Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports, live entertainment and hospitality industries and currently has eight divisions across four global offices (Los Angeles, New York, London, and Philadelphia). OVG oversees the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center and UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY as well as arena development projects for Moody Center in Austin, TX; Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA; Co-op Live in Manchester, UK; and projects for Arena São Paulo in São Paulo, BZ; Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD; FirstOntario Centre Arena in Hamilton, ON; and a New Arena in Cardiff, Wales. More information at, and follow OVG on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn