Coliseum-the facts David Hales WON’T discuss tonight

by:  Diane Benjamin

Part 1

Part 2 will be posted when the Coliseum discussion begins tonight.

I’ve done many stories about Bart Rogers and John Butler, the 2 guys hired by the City to manage the Coliseum.  At tonight’s City Council meeting, 10 minutes has been allotted to discuss revisions to the CIAM contract.  I predict City Manager David Hales will NOT address any of the problems I have found.

The City built the Coliseum and had no idea how to manage it.  They hired Bart and John(CIAM).  The contract signed favored CIAM – not taxpayers.  Terms were not adequately defined.  Worse, there is virtually no oversight of operations from the City.  The City should have at least compared the CIAM financial statements with the contract to see if terms were anywhere close to being complied with.

According to the contract, the Coliseum MUST have a General Manager who has no other duties than to manage the Coliseum.  Bart Rogers removed “General Manager” from his title after I revealed he also runs other businesses out of the Coliseum.  My sources tell me that Rogers splits his time between Peoria, where he manages the Peoria Rivermen, and Bloomington.  Rogers is NOT the full-time managers of the Coliseum as required under the contract. The annual report, dated 4/30/13, shows that’s what he used to call himself:  See page 4.

Point #1

A dedicated General Manager at the Coliseum does not exists, that violates the contract.

Point #2

No place in the contract does it say the Coliseum can have 2 highly paid managers.  Rogers and Butler  both with salaries from the Coliseum paid by taxpayers.  John Butler owns BMI concessions,(the concessions company for the Coliseum) but his salary comes from the Coliseum.  Both of these men make over $100,000 – money deducted from the Coliseum’s bottom line.  That means, taxpayers are paying it.  No other venue the size of the Coliseum has 2 highly paid managers – I checked.

CIAM MUST produce the entire payroll.  As of 4/30/2013 Revenue was $2,592,795 and payroll was $1,386,696.  Who are they paying?  When over half of the revenue goes to salaries, shouldn’t the City be looking at the numbers?

Point #3

The City of Bloomington bought Point-of-Sale equipment for concessions – $188,158.47. See the list here: Point of Sale – Coliseum

This equipment has the ability to track EVERY concession transaction that takes place at the Coliseum.  It can print a recap of every event that has ever taken place.  The software can even trace what was bought at which stand in the Coliseum.  To the best of my knowledge, nobody at the City has ever looked at one of these reports to see if the City is getting their share of concession revenue. The City should be receiving 15% of all catering – including backstage catering for performers.  I see NO sign that backstage catering has EVER been paid to the City.  The City should receive 32% of the Gross revenue from General Concession stands, even more if Sales go over $1 Million.  That means, during a concert any concessions sold from a stand open to the public should pay the City 32%.  Stands in reserved seating, which no longer exist, pays the City 15%.

Why are the reports not being checked to ensure the City gets their share? How did the Concession commissions paid from BMI concession to the Coliseum go from $400,434 in 2007 to $259,560 for the year ended 4/30/13?  Are concessions sales down?  Or, is John Butler playing with the percentages since nobody at the City is watching?

Point #4

The total income before reimbursements has fallen from $3,469,708 as of April 30, 2007 to $2,592,795 as of April 30, 2013.  That is a decrease of $876,913 since the Coliseum opened.  But, even that isn’t the real decrease.  In 2007 Gross Merchandise Sales and Sales Tax were NOT included in Revenue.  In 2013 Gross Merchandise and Sales Tax is listed as $365,711.  That makes the Total Revenue decrease since 2007 $1,242,624

Should the choice of management be questioned?  Is the Coliseum failing?  What is being done to reverse this trend?  Has the media reported this decline?

Do City Manager David Hales, Mayor Tari Renner, and the Council know the facts.

Here’s the Income recap from 2007 – 2013, all information taken directly from the financial statements prepared by CIAM:   CIAM Income Recap

Look at the decline on the Total Income line.

Much more NEXT!

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