The U.S. Cellular Center opened as the Five Seasons Center on January 25, 1979. The Center was one portion of a three-part downtown project built in the late 1970's that included the Crowne Plaza Five Seasons Hotel and Five Seasons Parkade. The project was funded through a newly created downtown TIF (tax-incremental finance) district and a bond issue. In 1988, the City of Cedar Rapids chose to contract with a private management firm, Ogden Entertainment Services to manage the Center and the Paramount Theatre. Ogden was given the responsibility to run both facilities with an annual allocation of $300,000 from the hotel/motel tax fund for operating costs. Today, Compass Facility Management, a private management firm in Ames, IA, manages the Center and Theatre. Compass took over management in June 1999 after a lengthy bid process that attracted six potential management firms. Since taking over the management, Compass has decreased the annual operating stipend to $150,000 from the hotel/motel tax fund. This decrease on the operating side has allowed the facilities' capital funding from the hotel/motel tax fund to grow to $450,000 annually. The U.S. Cellular Center has never been funded by Cedar Rapids' property taxes. Most years, the facility operates with a positive cash balance and uses any excess funds from the operating allocation to assist with capital funding. The facility is over 20 years old and has yet to undergo a major renovation due to the rigorous care of the operations staff. Built as the premier entertainment and convention facility in Eastern Iowa, the U.S. Cellular Center continues to host 170-190 event days a year including concerts, family shows, conventions, corporate meetings, sporting events, ice shows, rodeos, circuses and high school events. The facility is on the leading edge of bringing culturally rich, highly entertaining and visually stimulating events to the surrounding population. Nestled in the densely populated corridor of Eastern Iowa, the U.S. Cellular Center draws event attendees from a population base of more than 1,000,000 people. The center of this population group is within an hour and a half drive from Cedar Rapids. Event programming is carefully planned to appeal to a gamut of progressive tastes and traditional interests. As our programming staff works to bring in events throughout the year, the U.S. Cellular Center's seating capacity limits the number and types of acts that can be booked each year. The facility's calendar also plays a part in booking concerts, sporting events and family shows. From January through May, very few, if any weekends are available for booking. During this time, we host many annual events including a home show, boat show, crafts show, rodeo, motor sports show, antique show, Chamber trade show, Career Fair, high school graduations and more. Over the years, the Center has hosted many concerts including KISS, Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Amy Grant, Diana Ross, Pantera, Brooks & Dunn, Styx, AC/DC, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Diamond Rio, Martina McBride, Gaither Homecoming, Barry Manilow, Chicago, Bon Jovi, Larry the Cable Guy, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Rodney Carrington, Linkin Park, Toby Keith, Cher, and Green Day. In July 2000, the City of Cedar Rapids entered into an advertising partnership with U.S. Cellular to rename the Center. The Center receives an annual payment of $125,000 over five years plus marketing support through U.S. Cellular monthly bills and retail centers. In return, the facility was renamed the U.S. Cellular Center. As the U.S. Cellular Center continues to work on bringing in diverse events, you can help. Join the USCC/PT Focus Group by contacting Sarah LaGrange at email@example.com. Focus group members receive e-mails on potential events and give feedback on these events. For more information on the USCC/PT Focus Group, click on Patron Services page.