Wells Fargo Arena (Des Moines, Iowa)

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Wells Fargo Arena
The Well
Wells Fargo Arena.jpg
Wells Fargo Arena (Des Moines, Iowa)
Address730 3rd Street
Location Des Moines, Iowa
Coordinates 41°35′33.6″N93°37′16.1″W / 41.592667°N 93.621139°W / 41.592667; -93.621139 Coordinates: 41°35′33.6″N93°37′16.1″W / 41.592667°N 93.621139°W / 41.592667; -93.621139
Owner Polk County
Operator Spectra Venue Management
Capacity 16,980 (center stage concerts)
16,285 (end stage concerts)
16,110 (basketball)
15,181 (hockey)
15,181 (football)
Broke groundDecember 18, 2002 [1]
OpenedJuly 12, 2005
Construction cost$117 million
($153 million in 2019 dollars [2] )
Architect HOK Sport
Renaissance Design Group
Brooks Borg Skiles
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti [3]
Services engineerFSC, Inc. [4]
General contractorWeitz/Turner [1]
Iowa Stars/Chops (AHL) (2005–2009)
Iowa Wolves (NBA G League) (2007–present)
Iowa Barnstormers (IFL) (2008–present)
Iowa Wild (AHL) (2013–present)
Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) (2020–2021)

Wells Fargo Arena is a multi-purpose arena in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. Part of the Iowa Events Center, the arena opened on July 12, 2005, at a cost of $117 million. [5] Named for title sponsor Wells Fargo, the arena replaced the aging Veterans Memorial Auditorium as the Des Moines area's primary venue for sporting events and concerts.


Wells Fargo Arena seats 15,181 people for hockey and arena football games, 16,110 for basketball games, and as many as 16,980 for concerts. [6] It also features The Fort Restaurant, which provides views of the Des Moines River and the Iowa State Capitol. The restaurant opened on October 6, 2005, coinciding with the Iowa Stars' inaugural home game. [7]

The arena is also connected to the rest of the Iowa Events Center as well as downtown Des Moines through the city's Skywalk system.


The first event held at the arena was Tony Hawk's Boom-Boom Huck Jam, on July 1. Its first concert, featuring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with The Black Crowes, was held on July 18. [5]

Wells Fargo Arena is home to the Iowa Wolves (formerly named the Iowa Energy) of the NBA G League, the Iowa Barnstormers of the Indoor Football League and the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.

From 2005 until 2009, Wells Fargo Arena served as the home of the American Hockey League's Iowa Chops. The arena is notable for hosting the inaugural game of the reincarnation of the Arena Football League on April 2, 2010, between the Barnstormers and Chicago Rush, televised nationally by NFL Network. [8]

The Iowa Barnstormers playing against the Tampa Bay Storm during the 2013 season. Tampa Bay at Iowa 6.1.13.JPG
The Iowa Barnstormers playing against the Tampa Bay Storm during the 2013 season.

It was the host for the first and second Round games for the 2008 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament and served as a regional site 2012 tournament. In 2013, it hosted the NCAA Wrestling Team Championship.

It has hosted the state high school wrestling and basketball tournaments since 2006 and the Big Four Classic, a doubleheader featuring the state's four men's Division I teams, since 2012.

The arena hosted the 2011 NBA D-League Finals, which saw the Iowa Energy win their first title on their home court and set the D-League attendance record with 14,036 fans in the arena for Game 2.

In 2016, the arena hosted first and second-round games for the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament after having failed [9] on several prior bids. [10] The NCAA Men's basketball tournament returned to Wells Fargo Arena in 2019, hosting the tournament's first and second round from March 21 to 23. The tournament is slated to return again in 2023. [11]

In 2020, the arena gained a temporary second hockey tenant when the Des Moines Buccaneers announced plans to begin their season downtown after damage to their home arena during the August 2020 Midwest derecho. [12] The Buccaneers returned to their previous arena in January 2021.


Current tenants

Former tenants


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  1. 1 2 "The Project Labor Agreement for the Iowa Events Center" (PDF). Public Interest Institute. March 2006. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–" . Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  3. "Leadership: Paul Fu". Thornton Tomasetti. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  4. "Ali Alaman P. E." (PDF). FSC, Inc. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  5. 1 2 Dobbs, Kevin (July 13, 2005). "It's An Amazing Place". The Des Moines Register . p. 1B. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  6. "Iowa Events Center - Arena Info - Wells Fargo Arena". Global Spectrum. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
  7. Dobbs, Kevin (September 13, 2005). "Hockey Meets Fine Dining". The Des Moines Register . p. 4B. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  8. "NFL Network Names Announcers for Arena Football League Debut" (Press release). Arena Football League. March 29, 2010. Archived from the original on October 25, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  9. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/college/2014/08/06/des-moines-bids-to-host-ncaa-mens-basketball-tournament/13680521/
  10. "Your definitive guide to March Madness in Des Moines". The Des Moines Register. March 15, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  11. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/college/2014/08/06/des-moines-bids-to-host-ncaa-mens-basketball-tournament/13680521/
  12. "Des Moines Buccaneers to open season at Wells Fargo Arena". KCCI . October 13, 2020.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Toyota Center (Houston)
Home of the
Iowa Wild

2013 present
Succeeded by