Coliseum expenses continue to destroy

By:  Diane Benjamin

  1. The Coliseum audited financial statement from April 30, 2016 is still not available.
  2. The local media and candidates are pretending the ongoing State Police investigation of Coliseum operations isn’t happening.
  3. Naming rights expired close to a year ago, obviously nobody wants their name on the Coliseum if they have to pay for it.  The City budget still calls it US Cellular Coliseum.  I bet US Cellular loves the free advertising.

The below is hidden on the final pages of the Book 2 budget for Bloomington:  PDF page 314:

Pages 315-317 provide a little more detail, but they also show these amounts as Expenses AND claim the Coliseum will provide the Revenue to pay for them!

Last November the Council approved $120,000 just for the ADA design.  It’s hard to believe the cost will only be $650,000:

Now the story gets weird and hard to tell!

See page 167 from the Book 2 link above:

The first column claims to be the actual numbers from last April 30, 2016 that haven’t been released!  That column also claims the Coliseum showed a profit of $762,737. ($5,724,175 – $4,961,438)

Operating Revenue in 2015 was only $2,587,395:  PDF page 6

Revenues more than doubled in 2016?  Seriously?  The 2016 revenue number has to include the City subsidies, the Coliseum didn’t have that much actual revenue or show a profit.    Expenses at the same link were $4,126,079 in 2015, so that number is probably right.

If subsidies are included in the 2016 number, it’s not hard to believe they are in 2017 and 2018 too.

To find out what the subsidies are, go back to Budget Book 1

PDF page 44:  Bond payment $1,443,805 – bond payments are not included on the chart above

PDF page 47:  $2.2M is being transferred from Employee Health fund balance to pay cash for General Fund and Coliseum capital projects.  That is where the $1M for Capital Improvements is coming from.

PDF page 86 shows SALARIES – City Coliseum of $1,143,233.  The City is paying salaries at the Coliseum?  See this line from the VenuWorks contract:

It is on page 8 of the contract:

The table on page 86 has this note:  *Starting in FY16 Projected and FY17, the City combined the City Coliseum and the Coliseum – USCC Contractor operations.

I’ve heard for years that City employees have worked at the Coliseum and received tons of overtime for doing it.  Maybe the City finally decided to disclose it.

This $1,143,233 a line item that needs an explanation!

See page 356 and this note:

In summary:

  • Capital improvements will cost $1,000,000
  • other costs are $2,244,549
  • the bond payment is $1,443,805
  • the City might be paying salaries of $1,143,233.

Interest may not be included in the bond payment, the budget doesn’t make that clear.

Not included is other miscellaneous repairs and maintenance that happen during the year, there is always something.



6 thoughts on “Coliseum expenses continue to destroy

  1. The financial drain from the Coliseum has resulted in the inability of Bloomington to achieve a higher bond rating. Interest rates won’t be as favorable for funding all of the planned capital improvements.

  2. Where’s the shows at? As Clara would say ‘where’s the beef?”
    They might as well set it on fire and collect the insurance to get rid of it. Joking of course but you get the thought.

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