By: Diane Benjamin
The local paper has an editorial declaring the new City Manager the right guy because Decatur re-did their downtown. They think Normal did, so there is no reason Bloomington can’t.
They forgot Normal was in ZERO debt before they spent around $100,000,000 on Uptown. (Is that restaurant space on the Circle still empty?) Bloomington has already spent that much on the Coliseum and the BCPA and has next to nothing to show for it.
If Gleason wants to help downtown Bloomington, the fastest way is to fire VenuWorks and quit pretending Bloomington will ever support an arena. The Ice Center (still no naming rights sponsor) needs more ice, give it to Parks and Rec. No more sports teams, they draw very few people. Occasional community events can be held there, nothing else.
VenuWorks has quarterly reports for the year ending 4/30/2018 on the City website. It’s amusing that none of them have year-to-date dollars! That’s because the totals are despicable and proves it should be shut down.
See the Quarterly statement here: http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-526
Keep in mind, the audited losses will be much higher, depreciation is not included in this loss.
Go back to the “feasibility study” before it was built.
It should make the Council doubtful of EVERY study they commission, sadly it won’t.
The Coliseum study predicted revenues of $7,1000,000 and operating expenses of $4,800,000 for a glorious profit of $2.300,000, which would cover the bonds to build it. https://blnnews.com/2016/02/11/the-tale-of-the-coliseum-tari-a-hotel/
Instead, the 1/4% Sales Tax increase taxpayers AGREED to for the BCPA has been partially diverted to the bonds.
Total Revenue was only off $5,000,000!
Will Tim Gleason have the guts to shut it down? The Council ignored all my stories and my lawsuit which proved the previous manager was stealing money. David Hales was never held accountable for not overseeing operations.
Don’t forget you still need to pay for an elevator on the outside because the building isn’t ADA compliant.
The citizens forced to cover the losses for more than a decade know the arena is a failure. They know it continues to SUCK tax dollars. If Gleason wants money for downtown, here’s where he can get some. Quit funding anyone to run the arena. The Council needs to open their eyes and realize it was a mistake to build and way past time to admit and fix it.
Hopefully the Council will remember this “feasibility study” when the sports complex study comes back with predictions of greatness.
It won’t be close to accurate either.