Five Flags Civic Center: Phase 1 Assessment & Study

In 2017, The City hired a consultant to conduct a comprehensive study and assessment of the Five Flags Civic Center. The contract between the City and Conventions, Sports and Leisure International (CSL) called for the consulting firm to perform a status assessment of Five Flags Civic Center, perform an expansion study and assessment, and develop scenarios and associated costs. A report was presented to the Civic Center Commission in May of 2018.

Download the full study

Assessment & Study

Phase 1 was to assess the status of the center. As proposed by the consultant, this was to be done in six steps including: study kickoff and initial project planning, local market conditions and visitor industry assessment, analysis of existing Five Flags Civic Center operations, industry trends review, competitive/comparable facility analysis, and market surveys.

FFCC Phase 1

The consultant’s work began with a series of meetings in the community. A steering committee was established and met with the consultant. The consultant also met with a variety of organizations including but not limited to Travel Dubuque, Dubuque Main Street, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, the Five Flags Civic Center Commission, and more.

Public input was very important to the study process and was a priority. An initial public meeting was held for citizens to give input as well as share their thoughts and ideas related to Five Flags. Additionally, an online survey was made available with nearly 1,100 responses were received. Bill Krueger, Principal of CSL, reported that in other studies they have performed throughout the US in similar markets, the typical response rate to a survey is 500-700. He indicated this was one of the strongest response rates they have seen for a survey of this type. View the responses to the online survey.

In Step I of the study and assessment, CSL reviewed data regarding the current and historical operations and activities of Five Flags. They contacted promoters and event planners and performed benchmarking comparisons of Five Flags to others in the community and throughout the region and country. Step II was an expansion study and assessment. Components included: a market supportable program analysis, event/use levels analysis, conceptual renderings and design charrette, preliminary construction cost analysis, financial operations analysis, and economic impact analysis. Step III analyzed naming rights and/or sponsorship opportunities. Step IV was developed and analyzed scenarios and costs related to each.

The following potential scenarios were identified, with the understanding these may be changed or refined to better reflect the future research conducted and input received:

  • Scenario 1: Status Quo with Deferred Maintenance 
  • Scenario 2: Deferred Maintenance and Limited Renovation
  • Scenario 3: Theater Renovation and Arena Expansion
  • Scenario 4: Theater Renovation and New Arena Construction 

CSL completed work on all phases of the study and presented to the Five Flags Civic Center Commission (May 2, 2018). The draft findings were then presented to the Dubuque City Council at a special work session on Monday, May 14, 2018. View the presentation and watch the video of the work session presentation.

The Five Flags Civic Center Commission hosted a public input session for the community related to the study findings on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. For those unable to attend this meeting, a link was provided to provide input. Find the minutes of the Civic Center Commission meeting and view the input received via the webpage

Completed Assessment & Study

Convention Sports & Leisure International finished the Civic Center Assessment and Study in June 2018. To view all the components of the study and assessment, click each of the links below. The document is 249 pages total thus it is broken up to assist in downloading. Certain files are large and may take time to download.

At the July 2, 2018, City Council meeting, the Five Flags Civic Center Commission forwarded their unanimous recommendation from the June 25, 2018, Commission meeting to receive and file the Five Flags Civic Center Assessment and Study completed by Conventions, Sports and Leisure International (CSL).  Additionally, they unanimously recommended, based upon the response of the Dubuque community and all the public input, that the Council choose scenario four for the Five Flags renovations. 

Conventions, Sports and Leisure International was contracted to perform Phase 2 planning for an expanded and improved Five Flags Civic Center based upon scenario 4 by approval of the City Council on November 5, 2108. The report was to be presented to staff and City Council in December 2018.