A new entertainment venue is coming to the suburban Des Moines metro as the largest concert promoter in the country is bringing a new, 3,000-seat arena to Waukee. According to the Des Moines Register, Live Nation Entertainment will open its first Iowa venue there.
It's part of Waukee's, population just over 20,000, "KeeTown Loop Development" which will include two new hotels and a 100-unit apartment complex.
Although Live Nation does not have an exclusive venue of its own in Iowa until now, it has tried before in 2018. The company proposed a $15 million project that would have involved Argonne Armory, 602 Robert D. Ray Drive, to create two theaters holding 2,000 and 800 people each.
Live Nation is essentially a "free agent" able to book artists and performances in any venue it chooses, and that has included Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. It's not clear how it will affect that partnership now that Live Nation is opening its own venue, but the Register says that in 2017, Live Nation presented 10 of the 21 shows booked there, so it might hurt.
As it stands right now, the goal of this midsize venue, to be called "Project 1500" is to fill the gap between the smaller Hoyt Sherman Place and the larger Wells Fargo Arena in the Des Moines Metro area. It would appear to be similar to what the Paramount Theatre provides in Cedar Rapids as a midsize location between the McGrath Amphitheatre and Alliant Energy Powerhouse.
Once the project is complete, the hope is to host at least 100 events per year. Construction is expected to begin this fall and could see those bookings begin as early as 2023.
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