Coliseum: Management working for you?

by:  Diane Benjamin

I’ve written before about Bart Rogers, but now it’s getting funny!  Somebody is in full CYA mode.

The contract the City of Bloomington has with Central Illinois Arena Management says the General Manager of the Coliseum must have ONLY the job of General Manager:

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.

Here’s where it gets funny:  The Coliseum website has been changed.  John Butler is listed as Owner/President of CIAM.  The bio claims he manages day-to-day operations.  Since he also owns and manages BMI Concessions, he doesn’t qualify as the full-time general manager required by the contract.  BMI Concessions is in charge of all food and drinks at the Coliseum.

Bart Rogers was listed as the General Manager – but his bio has been changed.  Maybe it is because I reported he is also running a bus company and he is a part owner of the Peoria Rivermen – more on that in a minute.  Here’s his current bio:  He is now merely a Vice-President.

Unfortunately for the Coliseum web manager, one part of the website didn’t get changed:

Vice President / General Manager, Bart Rogers

Phone:  309-434-2843

E-mail:  [email protected]

Don’t bother changing it now Coliseum, I’ve got a hard copy.

They also missed this post on the Rivermen website:

Bart Rogers enters his fifth year as Vice President/General Manager of U.S. Cellular Coliseum Entertainment and Sports Properties, LLC, and his first season as …

Bart Rogers and John Butler are very worried about losing their cash cow – management of the Coliseum.  They are asking the City of Bloomington to modify their contract so they can bring in an amateur hockey team.  They are trying to cover up their other contract problems, like running other businesses out of the Coliseum on the taxpayer’s dime.  Now they evidently don’t have a General Manager!  Look for one to be appointed soon – while Rogers and Butler continue to take big salaries from the Coliseum.

Want more proof Rogers isn’t the Coliseum full-time General Manager?

Here’s a link to a story in yesterday’s Peoria Journal Star:

A columnist for the Peoria Journal Star writes about the Rivermen every Tuesday.  Yesterday his column contained numerous quotes from Bart Rogers.  Rogers even admits to being on the SPHL expansion committee – Southern Professional Hockey League.  The column briefly touches on Bloomington, basically saying Rogers and Butler declined comment.  The column makes clear that Rogers is more than just a co-owner of the team.

More proof Bart Rogers is heavily involved in Peoria, not Bloomington:

Here’s a quote from the Rivermen website:

“This is an exciting day for the Peoria and Bloomington organizations,” Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers said. “We’re thrilled to partner with such a strong brand and successful organization. What the Blackhawks have done in recent years cannot be overstated.”

Another funny thing:  Bart Rogers and John Butler are no longer listed on the Rivermen website as owners.  They used to be, like 2 days ago!

Why was the Coliseum website changed?

Why does the Coliseum no longer have a General Manager?

Exactly who is looking out for the taxpayers?

Want to see what Bart Rogers and John Butler really look like?  Top row, last picture.  Rogers is on the far right, Butler is half there on the far left.  You can see him in other pictures:–october-26-2013

Nobody I have talked with thinks an amateur hockey team is going to draw big crowds, but unless the change is approved, hockey is OVER at the Coliseum.  The Pepsi Ice Center is short on ice time, maybe they can use it.

What should happen though is this:  The contract should be renegotiated.   There are too many violations and very little transparency.  CIAM, Butler, and Rogers are making money.  What about the taxpayers?

Concessions should be part of the deal too.  There is ZERO transparency and accountability with concessions.  David Hales is in his fifth year as City Manager.  Is he a little to cozy with Butler and Rogers, or just incompetent?  Taxpayers aren’t being protected – they just pay the bills.







One thought on “Coliseum: Management working for you?

  1. So now the Arena has two full time managers that call themselves President and Vice President? and are taking big salaries to manage one arena???? Does the Peoria Civic Center, Prairie Capital Convention Center, Rockford Civic Center, Quad Cities…the Mark have a President and Vice President??? No, they have ONE General Manager overseeing the day to day operations. Nice oversight City!!!

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