Coliseum: Who to blame

By:  Diane Benjamin

All the way back in October of 2000, Tari Renner had his students do a survey of Bloomington residents about building an arena on the EAST side.

63% opposed a tax increase to build it.  The estimate to build it was only $25 million.  Renner lamented the questions asked were worded negatively.

Judy Markowitz had an 81% approval rating at the time.  She claimed she didn’t want a tax increase either – the revenue from the arena would pay the bonds. (stop laughing now)

The Council vote didn’t take place until December of 2003.  So, who voted for it?

arenaBy the time the Council voted, Markowitz’s approval rating was down to 39%.

This is what the aldermen who voted YES were thinking:




I wonder what Mike Matejka’s approval rating is?


Government obviously isn’t capable of BIG, their activities are meant to be limited.  If the Council in 2003 knew that, the citizens today wouldn’t be losing millions because of their ineptness.

Elections have consequences!

Unless you want more Coliseums, vote for candidates who aren’t thinking BIG!   They will use your money to make their dreams come true.

This information is from archives not available on-line without paying for it, so no links.





22 thoughts on “Coliseum: Who to blame

  1. I don’t know much of anything about many of the candidates. Are you going to, or is there anywhere to go to get of summary of what they stand for?

    1. Renner, Blayne, Lower and Fike have Face Book pages. Search by their name and add “for Mayor” to get a sense of who they are and what their stand is in the issues.

  2. Well, you KNOW what ole Mike Matejka was thinking! JOBS. He was looking out for his “labor union” buddies and cronies. Judy wanted something to SHOW for her being mayor (boy did she do that) and the rest, well who knows??
    Hopefully a BIG Carbonaceous Chrondrite will hit that money sucking vortex-destroying it and we can sell it and MAYBE make our money back.

  3. Interesting – nice to see who was responsible for this boondoggle. I still think it could be sold and used for something else – I think a hot dog palace who be something we could use. We could draw people from 700 miles away to eat our Coliseum Hot Dogs! I think I have the solution here – perhaps the Mayor of Normal could give us a hand making this happen. He is very experienced in providing the necessary money to bring a hot dog stand to Normal. There has to be someone out there the city can hand a dump truck load of cash to, so we can finally get our hot dog stand. Coliseum Hot Dogs from Bloomington Illinois – we are loving it! Buy one, buy two, buy some for the whole family!

    1. Sprague was buddies with Tom Hamilton (living happily ever after on his six figure pension) and Hamilton wanted his buddy (Bill) Johnston Contractors (now out of business) to build the arena and the other three yes votes were all union officials.

      Yes, your vote is very important.

    2. Having once been a member of the YMCA and Sprague was too it comes as no surprise. I don’t think writing about his character on this site would be appropriate and that should give you a hint.

    3. Sprague was my alderman. I remember my spouse,and I talking with him and telling him NOT to vote for it. He said we couldn’t afford the BCPA either. Didn’t make sense why he would want to add this to taxpayer liability.

  4. After the forum at the Bloomington Performing Arts Center was held I walked to the parking lot with Alderman Schmidt as I “was” in her ward (Now I am in Kevin Lower’s ward Thank God!). I told her about my experience with the addition of an Arena in a downtown area as I was working in Orlando when the “O-Rena” was built for the Orlando Magic. It was known that after other events, i.e. rock concerts, motocross races, the patrons would urinate, vomit and defecate on the properties of the surround neighborhoods. It became so bad that the City of Orlando had to purchase additional properties as a “buffer” around the existing parcels. I hope, at least, that conversation at least has some impact on the decision Alderman Schmidt made at the following Council meeting

    1. Karen use to have some feeling for the people in her ward but not anymore. She’s pretty much sold out to the establishment liberals, lost like a babe in fantasyland.

      1. Agreed. Noticed the difference taking place when she left U of I and was hired on at IWU. Whatever she used to stand for, now she merely fakes it. She is not the same person she used to be.

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