For the next several months the wrecking ball will be taking down the Civic Auditorium in Omaha. For more than 60 years people from around the country flocked to the Civic for events ranging from sporting events to concerts. NIA NP Dodge Executive V.P. of Marketing Jeff Beals says building served its purpose well.
Beals says, “There are great memories there but this is a time to look forward to the future as Kiewit and HDR are part of a team that will turn the area into a very impressive mixed use development with an office tower, residential, retail so onward and ever forward downtown.”
For some the demolition is bittersweet and many in Nebraska shared their most memorable moments at the Civic Auditorium. Some say it was attending the circus with their children or one of many sporting events. The Civic was also home to Creighton Blue Jays Basketball, Creighton Women’s Volleyball and the University of Nebraska – Omaha Maverick Hockey.
Others remember political events that were held at the Civic. One woman shared memories of September of 1960 and Richard Nixon was running for president and stopped by the Civic. She says she had the opportunity to shake hands with memorable Republican. in 1988 a Vice Presidential Debate between Republican Dan Quayle and Democrat Lloyd Bensen. That is when Benson delivered the famous line, “You’re no Jack Kennedy” to Quayle.
Perhaps the most memorable to most are the thousands of concerts that ranged from the Beach Boys in 1963 to one of Elvis Presley’s final concerts in 1977.
The Civic Auditorium is being torn down to make way for a $300-million renovation project that includes new office and retail space and housing.