Bought and paid for media: Coliseum Update

Update:  The City just sent their daily propaganda.  The title of the Coliseum loss story:  Coliseum 1st Quarter Economic Impact

Are the citizens sick of being lied to yet?


By:  Diane Benjamin

Both the Pantagraph and WJBC have stories today about another BIG loss at the Coliseum.  Obviously the City sent them a press release with what to write, complete with CIAM management interviews.  Funny, the report isn’t on the City website yet.  The spin machine had to crank up first, hence the local brain-dead media were sent to report.

Nora, the probable writer, didn’t get the memo about NOT calling Bart Rogers the General Manager.  On the Coliseum website Bart is Vice President, there is no General Manager because the CIAM contract says they MUST have a General Manager who has no other job.  Unfortunately Bart is co-owner of the Peoria Rivermen and is constantly quoted in the Peoria paper.  Here’s an example of Bart doing promotions and advertising work with Rocky Vonachen (Peoria Chiefs):

Maybe the Coliseum wouldn’t lose so much money if Bart actually worked there!  What’s that vehicle you are driving these days Bart?

The CIAM contract expires March 31, 2016.  Here’s a quote from the contract:

(a) The Term of this Agreement shall commence on the date of execution of this Agreement and shall expire on the date ten (10) years subsequent to the date of the first public event held in the Arena. If CIAM fully complies with the terms and conditions contained herein, then it shall have the first right of refusal and option to exercise one 5 year renewal of the Agreement for the term of April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021, on terms and conditions negotiated at the time, except that in the event that the City and CIAM are unable to reach an agreement regarding the fees and conditions. CIAM shall notify the City in writing no later than one year prior to the end of the tenth year of this Agreement of its intent to exercise its renewal option. Upon receipt of such notice by the City, CIAM and the City shall meet promptly for the purpose of negotiating fees and conditions which shall replace the fees and conditions contained in this agreement.

I could name NUMEROUS ways that CIAM has not fully complied with the contract – Bart Rogers just being one.

Here’s another item for the potted plants on the Council.  You were lied to again.  Remember when you voted to spend over a million dollars on a sign?  I heard many of you say you were contractually obligated.  Can any of you read?  Again, from the contract:

5.8 Capital Improvements: Capital Equipment.

The obligation to pay for, and authority to perform, direct and supervise Capital Improvements and Capital Equipment purchases (defined as equipment costing more than $5,000.00 and services costing more than $5,000.00, as adjusted by the CPI Index) shall remain with the City, and will not be considered Operating Expenses. The annual management plan submitted pursuant to Section 8.2 shall include CIAM’s recommendation for Capital Improvements and Capital Equipment purchases to be accomplished during the year and shall be accompanied by an estimate of the cost of all such items and projects and a request that the City budget funds therefore.  The City shall retain the discretion to determine whether and to what level to fund Capital Improvements and Capital Equipment purchases to the Center.

Does that sound like you are required to buy anything CIAM says they wants?  Do you ever get tired of being lied to by David Hales?

One more thing.  Both the Pantagraph and WJBC talk about the economic activity generated by shows.  Earlier today I posted hotel/motel and food/beverage tax receipts.  Both DOWN.  any economic activity generated at the Coliseum is nothing more than redistribution of wealth.  Every purchase in Bloomington has a higher Sales Tax attached to it for the Coliseum and the BPCA.  The taxpayers of Bloomington have to cover the loses incurred, CIAM will never make enough money to reimburse the City.  Meanwhile CIAM management pays themselves salaries, Management Fees, and Commissions.  John Butler won’t let anybody know how much he makes from concessions or if he is paying the City the correct amount.

Your wealth is being redistributed to CIAM and John Butler.  Does Renner care?  Hales loves Butler, so he’s not doing anything to push him out.

Who does that leave looking out for you?

Yes Tari, the Coliseum could be shut down.  You still have the Sales Tax increase to pay the mortgage.

11 thoughts on “Bought and paid for media: Coliseum Update

  1. If you carefully read or listen to the proposed use of the increase in sales tax, you will notice that a portion will be used for capital improvements–just not what capital improvements. The FY2016 budget includes a “line item” referred to as “budget amendment for the Coliseum.” But, NO dollar amount is attached to that item. The Council doesn’t read anything. They are briefed by Hales and Renner with sound bites before they vote. Manipulation and lying by omission.

  2. The fiscal skulduggery embodied by coliseum management, endorsed/ignored by the current batch of Bloomington civic leaders, and heaped onto the taxpayer’s backs is simply not, to use a favorite word of the alinskyites, sustainable.

    1. I hope you realize that I am the only person reporting – backed up with facts. Citizens would know the Coliseum is losing money, but they would never know how badly the management is ripping them off WITH THE CITY’S APPROVAL.

      1. What really blows my mind is the fact that the only person reporting this doesn’t even live in Bloomington. Why in the world aren’t more Bloomington residents outraged by this (not too mention the countless other issues)? I just don’t get it. Revolt, storm city hall, do something! Vote.

  3. CIAM is imploding and the worst is clearly yet to come. I think their tenure is going to finish on the biggest loss yet in 10 years. They have seemingly lost the ability to book profitable shows, and I believe John Butler is not telling the truth when he says they have some ‘big’ shows coming up that will result in a ‘solid’ year. The currently scheduled full house events are, at this point, shaping up to be attendance disasters- look at the seat maps on Ticketmaster for Theresa Caputo and WWE wrestling, and see how many tickets have been sold. They have cleared almost entirely all weekdays for events during hockey season, and still nothing announced. CIAM needs to be replaced very soon, way before the end of their contract.

  4. “Bart Rogers, co-owner of the Rivermen hockey franchise, expressed similar sentiments.
    “The rich history of the Chiefs and the Rivermen, the longevity of the franchises, the first-class facilities both teams play in and, last but not least, the fan and corporate support these teams receive,” Rogers said. “All those attributes are why the ranking is what it is.”
    Rogers believes this is among the highest Peoria finishes in the rankings, which debuted 10 years ago.”…From the Peoria Journal Star.

    What City(Bloomington) in these United States that owns a multi purpose arena or stadium would allow a FULL TIME Vice President-General Manager to be employed or work for another city owned arena (yes the Rivermen offices are at the City-owned Peoria Civic Center.) or sports team?

    …And be paid by the tax payers of one City (Bloomington) while bringing in “tourism” or “economic impact” dollars for another City (Peoria). Does Bart Rogers ever boast how much economic impact the Rivermen bring in to the Peoria Civic Center while trying to negotiate a lease which they extended this year?

    Butler owns the other half of the Peoria Rivermen with Rogers, a team that competes for tourism dollars with the City of Bloomington.

    John, can you provide for us your “study” of how much your Bloomington-owned Peoria Rivermen bring into the Peoria Civic Center in tourism dollars?

    Does anyone in the City find anything wrong with this? David Hales are you asleep at the wheel?

  5. Well, THIS is considered NEWS? I have more news- Glaciers leave Illinois, leave rocks and till, retreat to North. President to investigate global warming in arctic regions where snow is left. Can I get a job as a reporter? The white elephant has had “questionable” bookkeeping SINCE inception-ie:being voted down, so why should they change now? No reason to. They have Tari and Hales eating their accounting garbage.

  6. City manager David Hales is a complete failure for allowing this to happen. Mayor Renner is a complete failure for allowing this to happen. Eight of nine city council members are complete failures to their constituents for allowing this to happen. Their lack of interest, their lack of initiative to demand compliance of duty and financial reporting regarding this matter should prove to all interested parties that they do not deserve the privilege of representing the citizens. As a matter of fact this inept behavior essentially condones and encourages coliseum management to continue on as those guys are probably laughing all the way to the bank and then all the way home. This is the type of poor management that would result in not only termination but investigation as well in most any private company.

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