by: Diane Benjamin
First some background:
Thousands of kids play soccer in Bloomington-Normal. They will soon lose their fields on the airport property because the FAA thinks it’s too dangerous. A group of supporters recently put together a proposal for a new complex on the west side combined with relocating the YMCA to south Bloomington. They wanted a 1/4% Sales Tax increase to fund it. They were shot down, I haven’t heard what the plans are now or if the original plan will be back again.
Meanwhile, the City of Bloomington decided years ago that hockey was the future. Hence, the Pepsi Ice Center. They have hockey leagues for kids, similar to soccer. So how many kids play hockey on teams at the Pepsi Ice Center? The Pepsi Ice Center Manager was so proud he sent out a Press Release: #1 Downstate for 8 and under
The only statistics given were for kids 8 and under. Pepsi Ice is #1 downstate and #3 overall in Illinois. They have a whopping 193 kids 8 and under! Do they all quit at 9? Evidently Pepsi Ice isn’t #1 for over 8 since there is no mention of other ages in the Press Release.
But it gets better:
Evidently Alderman Fruin asked where these kids are from. The 193 had by now risen to 229: % of hockey players by zip code
Only 51.09% of the under 8 kids are from Bloomington. 20.09% are from Normal, the rest are from other cities.
BLOOMINGTON 61701 19 8.30%
BLOOMINGTON 61704 67 29.26%
BLOOMINGTON 61705 31 13.54%
BLOOMINGTON Total 117 51.09%
NORMAL 46 20.09%
Total 229 100.00%
Alderman Fruin then followed up with an email, obviously parts of it were redacted by the City:
COB stands for City of Bloomington. Jim is probably upset that Bloomington taxpayers are paying for the Pepsi Ice Center while only slightly over half of the participants live in Bloomington. The City of Bloomington doesn’t think you have a right to know what he said though. (Think lawsuit)
Sorry soccer players. The City wasn’t interested in your new field for 2 reasons.
- You didn’t propose building it downtown
- Bloomington has hockey to fund and is therefore broke.