Officials Plan $50M Upgrade to Iowa's U.S. Cellular Center

City officials announced plans last week to spend $50 million modernizing the 30-year-old U.S. Cellular Center arena in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, next door to which they also want to build a new 60,000-square-foot convention center, reports local newspaper The Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Patrick DePalma, chairman of Cedar Rapids' Five Seasons Facilities Commission, debuted the plans last week and said they could help revitalize downtown Cedar Rapids, and even encourage the development of a much-coveted new hotel there.

Rather than expanding U.S. Cellular Center, DePalma's commission has recommended refurbishing its interior and building a separate facility next door—the new convention center—in order to accommodate meetings, conventions and trade shows.

DePalma's proposal is currently ranked fifth on a list of 10 projects currently being considered by the Cedar Rapids City Council, which is trying to decide how to spend funds from the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.