$20-$30 million for low wage jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin

Mark Peterson – Normal’s City Manager – talked to WGLT yesterday:  http://wglt.org/post/public-private-partnership-lacking-establish-sports-complex#stream/0

Peterson thinks taxpayers should pony up $20-$30 million for a sports complex!

The total cost will be $50 million, but it’s not a Public-Private partnership.  He doesn’t say where the rest of the money will come from or who will be paying the bills until the complex is abandoned.

Dave Stark is of course involved – his land was in the original soccer presentation.  The Mitsubishi boon never happened, so somebody needs to take it off his books.

This complex will be unused most of the time.  Kids won’t be playing games during school.  Outdoor games aren’t played with snow on the ground.

Maybe tournaments will be played every weekend during warm weather!  Who profits?

Hotels and restaurants – all LOW wage jobs.  Maybe Peterson is looking at the City taxes that will be collected.  Of course, they will go to paying off the bonds that must be issued to pay the $20-30 million.  Since Metrozone was dissolved Bloomington would collect more of the taxes, so Normal can’t afford to move forward without Renner.

In reality – taxpayers will lose.  They are responsible for paying the difference between hotel-motel taxes plus food and beverage taxes and the bond payments.

If nobody buys food and stays all night, you will pay.  Property taxes collected now probably won’t be if government owns the land.  Bonds probably can’t be sold unless they do own it.

Quality of Life!

This is what they mean when you live in Illinois:  government plans – you pay.

Tari Renner has mentioned an indoor ice rink.  Union labor will temporarily profit building it.  When that is completed they will need another government job.  What’s next?  Union rates to plant grass and trees for all the fields?  Oh, forgot a parking lot that will soon look just like the roads.  Maybe it can be gravel instead of a solid surface.

Don’t take my word for this being a bad idea:


The argument is frequently made that all the visitors coming to spend money at and around sports events will produce enough economic impact to pay for the stadium. This argument falls apart when you realize two key points: economic impact is not the same as tax revenue and when evaluating such events you must account for visitors’ budget constraints.

Rockford built an indoor sports complex downtown for a little over $24 million.  They also sold the naming rights for $175,000 per year to start.

See this article from 2015 before construction:  http://www.rrstar.com/article/20151112/NEWS/151119805

Then this article on the first event:  http://www.rrstar.com/news/20160604/thousands-fill-uw-health-sports-factory-in-downtown-rockford-for-first-tourney

Their Convention and Visitors Bureau uses the same bogus rhetoric: 

“The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates an economic impact of about $115,000 from the downtown tournament.”

Projected attendance is down:  http://www.rrstar.com/news/20161126/uw-health-sports-factory-draws-nearly-52k-visitors-to-rockford-in-first-five-months-winter-sports-to-be-boon

ROCKFORD — The number of people using the UW Health Sports Factory in the five months since it opened was down slightly from projections, but officials are confident the new athletic facility will become one of the city’s top attractions.

At least Rockford’s is indoors where it can be used all year.

That confident sounds a lot like what is said about the Coliseum.  Tell them when taxes get lowered in Bloomington because of the gazillions of dollars of economic activity they claim it generates, we can talk.

Until then, government is planning theft from you so a couple thousand kids can play soccer without having to buy their own field.  Theft is not only criminal, it’s immoral.


8 thoughts on “$20-$30 million for low wage jobs

  1. S&P Global Ratings, just downgraded Illinois bond rating to just one step above junk. No other U.S. state has ever been issued a lower bond rating according to record. In addition Bloomberg reports that Illinois is at risk of losing it’s investment grade status of which is an unprecedented step. ~ Maybe this is good news, it might slow the lunatics down or better yet put a stop to their irresponsible and wreckless ways.

    1. Don’t count on it. At least not in Blono. Renner believes he has a mandate and I’m sure Koos does too. That 11 vote margin in Normal was uniformed people who were mislead by reckless and irresponsible politicians who dared question Koos, Peterson and the rest of the Council. This is going to happen in Normal. It’s just a matter of when. They’ve been working on this for years and it hasn’t died yet and it won’t anytime soon.

  2. Good thing I left before the city councils starting spending big! I left BLONO when Koos gave ISU (taxpayer funded college) a 500.00 dollar sign paid for by tax payers

    1. Not sure what you’re referring to here, but I’m still taken back by the $100,000 score board at Hancock stadium paid for with my tax dollars. A $500 sign is nothing to the Normal Town Council.

  3. GOD help us ALL!! Just the INTEREST that not having budget cost us per DAY could pay fix a lot of WOES! WHEN do these idiots in Springfield wake up?
    With that said, I have lost ANY faith in the Illinois government, excluding Rauner who I believe is REALLY trying to fix things….

  4. Egad one messed up city manager. Instead of looking to develop a sports complex they should be looking at a central IL medical complex or something along that line. You know something that provides well paying employment. I was recently over at Iowa City to see a specialist and that city is booming.

  5. The plan for the soccer complex strikes me as being very similar to the Downtown Hotel. The owner of the property benefits. The real estate broker and developer benefit. All of the risk falls on the taxpayers. The “economic impact” will not pay for the “investment.” This is for 3,000 kids who play soccer but represents fewer families who don’t want the games spread around the city because each of their children are on different teams. Additionally, just like attracting performers to the Coliseum, attracting tournaments to Bloomington will be highly competitive.

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