Dubuque considering future of Five Flags Center - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque considering future of Five Flags Center

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Dubuque city leaders are trying to figure out what to do with the Five Flags Civic Center.

The nearly 40-year old, 70,000 square feet venue space is in need of upgrades, and they want to make it better. "I know the potential is out there, logistically. There's a lot of things logistically, and energy, efficiency that we'd like to take a look at," said HR Cook, general manager of the Five Flags Center.

In past years, revenue has been on the decline. It's gotten better now. However, there's a lot of competition from larger arenas in nearby cities.

Five Flags seats about 4,000, while U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids seats more than 9,000. Big name artists now choosing other cities over Dubuque, but it wasn't always like that. "You look at Ames, you look at even Sioux City even though its on the other side of the state...poses some competition for us because of the size of the facilities and the amount of entertainment that's out there," added Cook. 

All of this not only hurting the venue, but also causing the city itself to lose out on more visitors.

So, the city will hire a consultation firm to recommend what's best for Five Flags. "Do we look at repurposing the building, which is one of the questions on the feasibility study, expansion of the facility or possibly tearing it down and looking at another location, or maybe not rebuilding at all," said Cook.

Currently, the city of Dubuque is accepting proposals from consultants to determine what to do.

The budget for that study is $50,000. Once a consultation firm is selected, their deadline for recommendations is July of next year.

Dubuque hopes to approve the work in August 2017, so it'll be some time before actual renovations take place -- should they happen. 

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