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State Grants Polk County $50M To Build Arena

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state changed the terms of a $50 million economic development grant awarded to Polk County to help build the $217 million Iowa Events Center, a new downtown arena under construction.

The board that oversees the Vision Iowa program approved a plan giving the county flexibility in repaying its debt. That frees up money for the county to pursue a professional hockey franchise.

Included in the amended agreement, the county will contribute $1 million from its own economic development programs to help renovate the athletic stadium at Drake University.

County officials say the new flexible repayment agreement will allow them to hire Global Spectrum, of Philadelphia, to run the events center.

The company has promised to bring a hockey team to Des Moines next year and hopes to open the events center's convention hall this fall.