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Civic Center sets revenue record


The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines generated $10 million in revenue last season, the most in its 24-year history, officials announced last week.

An estimated 341,573 people attended performances at the Civic Center in 2003, generating $10 million in direct revenues and boosting the local economy by an additional $20 million. Civic Center officials say the economic impact figure was calculated using an “industry standard formula” and studies commissioned by local cultural organizations which report that every dollar of revenue generated by the Civic Center creates $2 of economic impact, benefiting restaurants, hotels, retailers and other businesses.

“There’s no question area restaurants and hotels see increased activity when we bring 16,000 to 20,000 people downtown for a week of shows,” Civic Center President and CEO Jeff Chelesvig said in a written statement. “That’s good for us and it’s good for the local economic development.”

More than 87,000 people attended “Triple Espresso,” which played at the Temple for Performing Arts for 451 performances over the course of 68 weeks. The comedy earned $2.5 million in revenue.

“The millions of dollars of local economic impact generated by our revenue is a phenomenal return on the investments we receive from the city, the suburbs and other sources,” Chelesvig said. “It is this kind of wise financial support in the performing arts that helps our community grow and prosper economically.”

The findings come on the heels of the Civic Center’s announcement of its 2004-2005 Broadway series, which includes national touring productions of “The Producers,” “Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Chicago,” “Miss Saigon,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Peter Pan.”  

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