UPDATE: Plan to revamp Five Flags remains alive - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Plan to revamp Five Flags remains alive

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

UPDATE: The Dubuque City Council has voted to keep a multi-million dollar plan to revamp the Five Flags Civic Center alive.

The council voted by a 5-2 margin on Monday night to accept a report on the plan for consideration, and to continue discussing the plan during a "goal-setting meeting" to be set at some point August.

The $68.5 million plan includes renovating the center's historic theater, and building a brand new 6,000 seat arena.

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Original Story:

The city of Dubuque is exploring upgrades to the Five Flags Civic Center.

Built in 1977, the concert and entertainment venue is lacking when it comes to certain accommodations.

"The artists have to cross into public areas to get onstage, there are no backstage accommodations for artists either to load in for the trucks, where to park, where to park the buses," said  H.R. Cook, general manager. 

Another problem is the 4,000 seat arena is no longer big enough to attract big name acts. "Yes, we have passed up a lot of acts that  are looking for the 5,000 or the 6,000 seat capacity."

A consulting firm gathered public input, and they came up with four possible scenarios for the facility. The options are keeping things the same, doing some renovations, expanding and adding more seats or constructing a completely new arena with a capacity of 6,000 seats.

In all scenarios the historic theater remains intact.

"A new building, though we would be down for construction for a year or two -- I think in the long run best suits the community," Cook said.

If they decide to tear the building down and build a bigger one, it'll come at a big price tag -- up to 70 million dollars. However, that cost doesn't include naming rights, sponsorships, also grants.

Dubuque's city council is holding a special work session on May 14th to discuss the scenarios.

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