Standing majestically on the ground previously occupied by the West Arena, the new Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center opened its doors on August 12, 2010, the first day of the 2010 Iowa State Fair.
The Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center is a state-of-the-art facility attracting a variety of livestock shows, concerts and other entertainment from across the country in addition to Fair-time activities. During the Fair, the Exhibition Center plays host to some of the Fair's most popular events including the Cowgirl Queen Contest and the six-horse draft horse hitches.
Seating for 3,500 surrounds the indoor arena floor, with a practice arena connecting it to the Horse Barn. Skylights that run the length of the rooftop flood the arena floor with natural light by day, and VIP balcony seating in Jake's Club allows spectators to view horse shows and other events in the lap of luxury.
A generous donation of $3.5 million made by Iowa businessman and philanthropist Richard O. Jacobson helped substantially in getting the $20 million project started. "The Fair is the single biggest attraction in the state of Iowa and has been for over 150 years," said Jacobson. "Iowa has been good to me and this is a great opportunity to give back to the people of Iowa. I am pleased to be a part of this exciting project!"
Additional major contributions by Bruce Rastetter, Patty and Jim Cownie, Bill and Susan Knapp, Denny and Candy Elwell, Dick and Sherry Easter, Dwayne McAninch, Greg Abel of MidAmerican Energy and Mary O'Keefe of Principal Financial helped in the completion of the Jacobson Center.
We encourage you to participate in the giving programs developed to enhance not only the facility, but the reputation of the Iowa State Fair as a leader in agricultural based education and entertainment on both the state and national levels. Please consider donating to our donor wall, Block by Block, or our Building for the Future campaign.