Residents of Dubuque can help decide the future of the Five Flags Center. Last week, a consultant presented results of a study, and they'll be discussed in the coming weeks by the city council and at a public meeting.
General Manager H.R. Cook says the consultant concluded there's a significant need for a larger, multi-purpose arena.
"Because of our location and the distance between Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Des Moines, and even Sioux City and Council Fluffs and Omaha - we're in a very good position for routing for larger shows."
The 40 year old arena can seat up to 4,000 people, but half of those seats are folding chairs on the main floor or bleachers. And Cook says it can look like a high school gym.
"Since then, people want that experience, they want comfortable and wider seats. The concourses, the restaurants, the pre-function spaces - they want to be able to inter-mingle with their family and friends before the show and during the show."
The arena at the Five Flags Center opened in 1977, and the historic theater dates back to 1911. Cook says the consultant recommends preserving the theater, and estimates replacing the arena could cost between 45 and 70 million dollars.
The Dubuque city council will discuss the report next Monday (5/14), and a community input meeting is set for the following Wednesday (5/16).