UPDATE: The Coliseum Truth


The Pantagraph article was down, but now it’s back with a few changes.  It still dodges the truth.  If you are on Facebook, Renner For Mayor is asking for feedback about the Coliseum:  https://www.facebook.com/Tari-Renner-for-Mayor-25094354134/?fref=ts

By: Diane Benjamin

Tari Renner wrote an article for the Pantagraph today and made it look like the City reporter Maria Nagle wrote it.

Let’s start with some facts:

  • Nagle claims the most current financial information available is for the first Quarter of FY 2016.  Wrong! The 1st Quarter ended July 31st, 2015.  Seriously Maria?
  • See this link:  http://www.pantagraph.com/entertainment/city-negotiating-new-coliseum-contract/article_af1ae4c1-15d1-5db8-a938-e7ea35c5f61b.html  Loses for the first two Quarters are available – by FOIA.  The City now fails to post the statements on their website, the “Coliseum” tab is evidently meaningless.  (http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=21&parent=6548)
    1st Quarter loss$252,465.49  2nd Quarter loss:  $115,225.51   The 3rd Quarter ended January 31st – CIAM has NOT given that statement to the City yet.
  • The losses CIAM reports are immaterial because they NEVER match the audited numbers.  Sikich (the auditors) reported an operating loss in 2015 of $1,538,684 of which $861,204 is depreciation.  Without depreciation the actual REAL loss was $677,480, not the fictitious almost half a million the Pantagraph reported.  Reporting fiction evidently is grounds for a contract extension!
  •  Tari claims CIAM’s new contract needs more transparency.  He also claims CIAM has the Coliseum records and the City doesn’t have access to them.  READ the contract Tari:
    • David Hales chose to NOT look at the Coliseum reports.  CIAM, since the only Revenue they have is taxpayer money, has NO RIGHTS to privacy.  The contract clearly statements the City can see anything it wants to see.  You have chosen to be BLIND.

Of course the article doesn’t mention the Coliseum was founded to make IT’S own bond payments.  Taxpayers were never going to pay a cent.  (Really believe Tari’s hotel won’t cost you a cent?)

Then there is the biggy:

A new contract would have been signed months ago if I wasn’t suing the City to obtain documents from the Coliseum.  The Pantagraph knows about the lawsuit, but they left that little inconvenient fact out.

The City now refuses to defend CIAM, obviously I’m entitled to what I filed for.  A short extension is needed to allow my case to play out.

John Butler should be fired when the current contract expires for failure to follow the law and be transparent.  He is merely trying to protect his golden goose.

The City has a chance to re-boot the much hated Coliseum with new management.  Renner, Hales, and the Council aren’t smart enough to figure that out.  (If you like your losses, you can keep your losses)

Maybe next they can pass an ordinance requiring all residents to attend at least one event per year.  The City is offended that citizens don’t want to great entertainment being gifted to them.

And the ripoff continues . . .


13 thoughts on “UPDATE: The Coliseum Truth

  1. Our city leaders are so pathetic. This is textbook demo of how you can ruin a city’s finances and with it the city’s future


  2. Combining the management of the BCPA with the Coliseum under CIAM would be a big mistake. It doesn’t seem Renner or Hales has talked to the Director of the BCPA prior to the Mayor telling the world about the possible management change. This is another dog and pony show for the election year. The taxpayers are being fed alphabet soup.


  3. The negotiations should just end. If Butler is not happy with what the city is proposing, the “right of first refusal” has been met. Move on to another venue management company. If Butler and the City are truly in a partnership as he claims, all information should be shared. That hasn’t happened–end of discussion. The Council is elected to make difficult decisions, so some people claim. “Raising taxes was a courageous decision.” How about some fortitude with the contract decision!


  4. Tari reads Government for Dummies and now thinks he knows about transparency and accountability? Please, if Tari is that serious about changing the contract with CIAM, he would open up the contract to bids from other companies and then apologize for the city’s complicity in this scam of a contract with CIAM. Butler skates over the city for how long and now Tari wants to convince everyone he is now enlightened to the city’s true responsibility? More smoke and mirrors. Tari must know he has to come clean and wash himself of this mess before he has to answer to what the FOIA discloses. Mismanagement, lack fiscal responsibility, earnings not being reported. Has all the trappings of a Wall Street scandal.


    1. Their website is quite pathetic. For days the Dobski Super Bowl party pictures have been up and still are. That tells you where their priorities are at.

      The root of the problem with Bloomington is the city manager, David Hales. He should have been shown the door a long time ago. He would never cut it in the private sector that’s for sure.


      1. Yes, the Dobski Super Bowl pictures are sickening. No question about that. But, we would do well to look at them and see who is running the city and the county and how those with connections get on the city council and County board and those who do not are screwed along with the rest of the Bloomington Normal citizenry. This is what’s wrong with city and county government and they can be found partying at the Dobski plantation.


    2. There were many comments online, none of which were kind and many that were more informed than the article. Not to mention, the reporters read the articles posted here.


  5. I would hope that the City looks at the revenue trends of the Coliseum that you have reported in the past. Revenues have been going down significantly especially those that the Coliseum staff has control over. Suite revenues are way down, club seats sales are now non existent compared to when the facility opened. And John Butler’s sister who is on the Coliseum payroll is in charge of those areas.

    What about naming rights? Those respective contracts expire at the end of March? For both U.S. Cellular and Pepsi Ice Center. Who is in charge of selling naming rights?

    What would the cost be to rebrand the building when the agreement expires? or does CIAM extend the agreement at no cost to these companies?…..like the City is willing to do for the CIAM management contract?

    Lastly, would the City allow Tina Salamone, the director of the BCPA to work another full-time job in Peoria like they allow Bart Rogers the “GM” of the Coliseum to work and manage the Rivermen hockey team? I think not.


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