Coliseum BLEEDING Bloomington taxpayers

by:  Diane Benjamin

The City of Bloomington issued a Press Release stating the Coliseum has an Operating Loss for the first 6 months of the fiscal year of $300,848.  The great news is they expected $43,603 more!  Remember, the building isn’t paid for.  that’s another $2,000,000 a year.

Does Mayor Renner or the rubber stamp 7 care the Coliseum has an operating loss?  Nope.  They prefer the economic impact number.  In the second quarter they claim the Coliseum contributed $2,726,510 to the local economy.  Somehow that doesn’t translate to the City being able to fund pensions and fix roads without borrowing money though.

The whole Coliseum story is a sordid soap opera at best.  The same guys hired to manage day-to-day operations also own the local hockey team and the Peoria hockey team.  One of the guys owns the concession company.

Then there are these 2 businesses with operating addresses at the coliseum:

Winning Edge Transportation
101 S Madison Street
Bloomington, IL 61701

Bloomington Junior Blaze
101 S. Madison Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
Does the City approve of its asset being used for private businesses?  Since they approved the hockey owning management team and concessions cabal, they must not care.  It must be okay for them to use the Internet, office supplies, phones etc.  Is Bloomington subsidizing private businesses now?  Who is running these businesses?

 According to the 2004 contract Bloomington has with CIAM :

(b) CIAM shall assign to the Center a competent, full-time general manager who shall have no duties other than the day-to-day operation and management of the Center, and a full-time marketing executive to direct, among other things, all sales of sponsorships, premium seating and the resale of naming rights. Prior to CIAM’s appointment of such general manager and marketing executive, CIAM shall consult with the City with respect to the qualifications of each of the general manager and marketing executive proposed by CIAM.

The general manager is Bart Rogers.  He is a part owner of both hockey teams and is frequently quoted in the press, especially the Peoria Journal Star, about the Peoria hockey team.  How is he a full-time manager with no other duties?

One point I hear a lot is:  CIAM is a private company and the City has no right to know how much they make from the Coliseum.

From the 2004 contract:

8.1 Records and Audits.
(a) CIAM shall keep full and accurate accounting records relating to its activities at the Center in accordance with generally accepted United States accounting principles.  CIAM shall maintain a system of bookkeeping adequate for its operations hereunder.  CIAM shall give the City’s authorized representatives access to such books and records maintained at the Center during reasonable business hours and upon reasonable advance notice as often as the City shall deem reasonably necessary or appropriate. CIAM shall keep and preserve for at least three (3) years following each Fiscal Year all sales slips, rental agreements, purchase order, sales books, credit card invoices, bankbooks or duplicate deposit slips, and other evidence of Operating Revenues and Operating Expenses for such period. In addition, on or before April 1 following each Fiscal Year for which CIAM is managing the Center hereunder, CIAM shall furnish to the City a balance
sheet, a statement of profit or loss and a statement of cash flows for the Center, for the preceding Fiscal Year, prepared in accordance with generally accepted United States accounting principles and accompanied by an independent auditor’s report of a nationally
recognized, independent certified public accountant. The audit shall contain an opinion expressed by the independent auditor of the accuracy of financial re- cords kept by CIAM and of amounts due to the Center Fund. The audit shall also provide a certification of
Operating Revenues and Operating Expenses as defined in this Agreement for such Fiscal Year. The audit shall be conducted by a reputable firm selected by CIAM with City approval. The City shall not withhold or delay such consent or approval unreasonably.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, the costs of such audit shall be deemed Operating Expenses.

If the City has complete access to the accounting information, why doesn’t anybody know how much CIAM is earning from a City owned asset? – especially an asset that loses taxpayer money every year?  




3 thoughts on “Coliseum BLEEDING Bloomington taxpayers

  1. If CIAM is complying with this contract someone within Bloomington City Government should have the financial statements. These are valid questions and maybe should be addressed in the City’s financial audit as they reflect a risk factor for the City.

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