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City of Cedar Falls commits $3 million to UNI-Dome renovation

CEDAR FALLS - The City of Cedar Falls will provide $3 million to support the University of Northern Iowa's comprehensive renovation to the UNI-Dome.
UNI Dome, home of UNI Panther football

CEDAR FALLS – The City of Cedar Falls will provide $3 million to support the University of Northern Iowa’s comprehensive renovation to the UNI-Dome. The Cedar Falls city council last night approved the FY25 budget which includes $1.25 million for the project, with an additional amount totaling $1.75 million expected to be paid the following two years (FY26 and FY27).

City representatives expressed that the UNI-Dome is not only an iconic landmark for Cedar Falls, but a vital large-event space that contributes to the local economy.

Mayor Danny Laudick
“As a community, our partnership with UNI over the last 150 years has helped make Cedar Falls one of the best places in the country to call home and raise our families. Continuing that legacy of partnership, the City is excited to support the renovation of the UNI-Dome as part of the Our Tomorrow campaign. More than just a sports facility, the UNI-Dome has long been one of the biggest tourism draws and host to some of the biggest events in the Cedar Valley since it was built almost 50 years ago. We’re proud to invest alongside the university, UNI alumni and so many others in the community to see what the next 50 years of the Dome can bring to Cedar Falls.”

Council Member Gil Schultz
“Cedar Falls is fortunate to have the UNI Dome as an integral part of our community’s fabric and identity. Over the past nearly five decades the Dome has been the site of sports, entertainment, graduations and countless other events. Many were not only historic and memorable but also impactful to the economy of Cedar Falls. We appreciate the Dome and as a City it’s critical we support it as we move together into the future.”

Council Member Kelly Dunn
“From the beginning of this conversation, I have felt that this is basic economic development. As a policy maker, I want a strong tax base in order to have the highest level of service as possible for the city of Cedar Falls’ citizens and visitors. The UNI-Dome’s $17 million+ annual economic impact certainly adds to a strong tax base. This is not just an investment in Cedar Falls, but an investment in the Cedar Valley and the state of Iowa. Iowa kids come to the UNI-Dome for different events, including the Iowa high school football playoffs, putting them on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, in the Cedar Valley, and, maybe, they stay for a bit… maybe they stay forever and make this their home.”

Interim Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby
“The UNI-Dome has been the site of hundreds of iconic events over its 50 year lifespan. The venue continues to be a beacon that has attracted visitors to Cedar Falls and the Cedar Valley. We are grateful for the support of the citizens of Cedar Falls as well as Mayor Laudick and the Cedar Falls City Council. With this support, we can all look forward to a bright and vibrant future for the UNI-Dome.”

Since opening its doors in 1976, the UNI-Dome has become synonymous with the University of Northern Iowa and the Cedar Valley as a whole. Economic data gathered by UNI Athletics shows more than 500,000 people visit the UNI-Dome each year, resulting in an annual economic impact of more than $17 million. Annually, more than 200,000 visitors come from outside of Black Hawk County.

Just last month, the UNI-Dome played host to more than 2,000 youth from across the state and nation for the annual regional robotics competition and Cedar Valley STEM Festival. The Dome also welcomed thousands of families during Easter weekend serving as the venue for an annual egg hunt.

The UNI-Dome renovation project is a part of UNI’s Our Tomorrow campaign. Phase one of the renovation will continue in May as the process to replace the center portion of the UNI-Dome roof will begin. More information about this roof replacement will be available soon.

Donations to the UNI-Dome project are tax-deductible through the UNI Foundation and can be made outright or as a multi-year pledge.

For more information and to view the renderings, visit the UNI-Dome renovation website,

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