City of Omaha seeking proposals for future of Civic Auditorium site

Dec 6, 2012

Omaha’s Civic Auditorium will close June 30, 2014.

Mayor Jim Suttle says the city is putting out requests for proposals to determine the best use of the Civic Auditorium Site. It sits on ten acres at 18th and Capitol Streets in Omaha.

Suttle says keeping the building open and maintained is too costly.  "We will not be able to afford to make the renovations necessary to keep the facility open, but more importantly because of the age of the Civic, it really is not a very wise investment to put more dollars, millions of dollars, in to the renovation."

An appraisal is underway at the site to determine what the site is worth. Suttle says it’ll be up to the eventual buyer to decide if the Civic Auditorium is demolished or renovated. City estimates put the demolition cost at $5 million to $7 million.

The Civic Auditorium opened in 1954. Among the major events hosted at the Civic was the 1988 Vice Presidential debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle. It's also hosted sporting events, concerts, and graduations.