Coliseum Concessions: More proof

By:  Diane Benjamin

When I filed the lawsuit for concession information from the Coliseum I expected to receive a report PER EVENT like the one below.  This is an actual report from the Coliseum that I received from a whistle-blower.  No, am I not saying who – so don’t ask.

This is a tough report to write so you can understand what I’m saying, but start here:

The report is an EXCEL type report with multiple tabs across the bottom of the screen:

startThis software is part of the Micros system the City purchased for the Coliseum so concession sales could be tracked.  It’s also the type of report David Hales should have looked at for EVERY event, but failed to do.  He would have seen what I’m going to show your.

This is from the Micros Reconciliation tab:

net-salesObviously I changed the date etc information at the top so the concert isn’t identifiable.

I put the EXCEL column and row information on this pic because it will be important in a minute.  See Column Q – it is the Sales before Tax and the amount commissions should have been paid on.

You may have to click the picture to enlarge it to see what’s next.  The Stand Location is listed along the left edge.  Rows 22-30 are labeled “premium”, meaning nothing other than that’s what John Butler named them.  The contract has no provision for “premium”.  It does call for a lower commission percentage for suites, but nothing else.  Keep that in mind for the next pic.

The numbers from the above report automatically transfer to the “Commission Report” tab:

commisionThe numbers aren’t transferring accurately to this report.

First, all the items marked “Premium” are transferring together to ROW 10 – thus the City gets 15% instead of 32% on the items other than “Suites”.

Second, see the formula I highlighted at the top.  4% of Gross Credit Card sales are being deducted to cover bank credit card processing fees.  4% is too high, but no where in the contract does it say credit card processing fees can be deducted before commissions are calculated.  If you didn’t know, banks charge businesses a fee every time you use a credit card.  That’s why some businesses offer a discount for cash.

Now that you are totally confused, let me summarize all of the above.

Net Suite sales is $5131.50 for a commission at 15% = $769.73  (See Q26 on the first pic)

All other net sales totaled $32,344.75 for a commission at 32% = $10,350.32  (See Q33 on the first pic minus the suite sales)

Just this one concert should have netted $11,120.05 for the City.  ($769.73 + $10,350.32)

Instead, the City was paid $9,818.24  (See F17 on the 2nd pic)

Just this one concert shows a difference of $1,301.81.

As I reported in this story:  the commission payable to the City might have been higher than 32%.  It could have been 38% making another 6% due = $1,940.69  ($32,344.85 * .06)

That would make the total $1301.81 + $1940.69 = $3,242.50

Keep in mind, this is ONE concert in the 10 years CIAM managed the Coliseum.

I know from the lawsuit that total concession sales in 2013 and 2014 were over $1,000,000.  This concert was just $37,476.25.

Since David Hales never thought checking these micros reports was his responsibility, how much didn’t the City receive?

I have no clue. 

Ask the City Council members and Mayor Renner why they didn’t think concessions was important enough to verify.  That would be all of them but Kevin Lower.

The next court date is in October.








  1. Amazing find! So ,CIAM was inflating their commissions AND making the City eat the credit card charges. Hales was either too lazy to check these reports, or dare I say, he “turned his head” to the blatant theft of public funds from the City of Bloomingon. Yet, Renner still claims he has full faith in David Hales s the City Manager. Both need to be tarred and feathered and run out of town.


  2. Hales had this report on his desk. Are you shure about that?


  3. The annual reports presented by CIAM to the Council did not include any financial data. The reports only included the number and kind of events. Hales and the Council never questioned or requested any dollar amount reports. This CIAM fiasco falls on the Mayor, Hales and the Council.


    • sticky bean says:

      It is amazing that anyone in the capacity to oversee the peoples’ money could be that stupid. Yes, I said stupid! My guess is that t’s either stupidity or kickbacks. I wouldn’t put the latter past either of those two.


  4. I’d like t5o know if David Hales had computer access to the Micros System. If not , why not. As the day to day manager of the city, he should have access to all MIS financial reporting systems, and he should be reviewing them for accuracy on a routine basis. The same goes for HR System Reports generated from programs like PeopleSoft et al. For a fella making over 200K a year, he should be computer savvy and using technology to monitor expense control, department performance and vendor compliance. The percentages of commission are simply stated in the contract, who is Butler trying to kid about there being confusion? Renner’s damage control attempt is complete BS. With the help of WGLT, Renner and his fellow snakes in the grass attempted to completely pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Don’t believe the lies coming from these people. If not for mainly Diane’s lawsuit, and several other people voicing their dissatisfaction by email to City Hall over the past few years with Hales not overseeing the concessions contract including other areas of the CIAM contract, nothing would of happened and CIAM would still be servicing the Coliseum today. Butler pulled out because he knew he got caught. Rumor has it that Hales didn’t supervise Butler when he was cleaning out his office and that he , being Butler, destroyed records and that Hales allowed this. I’d like to know if this rumor is true. We deserve to know. I’d also like to know if Butler traded skyboxes for personal perks for himself. How about Hales? I’d like to know about that scoundrel too!


  5. I would love to see a review of comp tickets given to City Council members. I used to see Judy Markowitz there all the time and hear rumblings of her receiving free tickets. Council members should be banned from receiving free tickets, just as they should not be allowed to attend 1-person “business meals.” Here’s a thought, pay for your own tickets and have business meetings over the lunch hour/bring your own food and meet at City Hall.


  6. I agree TG! As for those infamous two on one lunches Renner and Hales has with their lackey Councilmen ( excluding those opposing Alderman) , there should be a city ordinance drafted prohibiting them. These lunches are nothing more than overt acts to get around the Open Meetings Act. Furthermore, the Mayor and City Manager should be required to give a brief explanation for the purpose for each business meal expense. They should specify the need for the business meal meeting and the benefit to the city. Having had reviewed the documents for meal expenses from my own FOIA requests, it’s evident that Renner and Hales misuse and abuse this privilidge. No company would tolerate the manner in which these two men conduct business.


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