The media won’t report this!

By:  Diane Benjamin

Long time readers know the former Coliseum managers would issue their financial statements, and then the auditor would issue theirs.  The media always reported the CIAM numbers but never the audited numbers.

Audited losses were much higher!

The media is continuing to report fake news because the audited number from VenuWorks aren’t close either.  Is looking up the truth too difficult?  Are they concealing the real losses on purpose?  Is the media just incompetent?

The audited losses are higher because management “forgets” to include expenses that apply to the fiscal year but aren’t paid until after it ends.  It’s called accruing expenses.  It might be payroll, taxes due, or other expenses.  Those add up to a lot and MUST be included in the year the expenses occur.

Let’s review:

VenuWorks claimed:

Gross Profit  $ 1,883,072

Expenses      $ 2,548,171

Loss              $<665,099>

The auditors didn’t agree:

PDF page 6:

Gross Profit   $ 1,881,369

Expenses       $ 4,049,903

Loss               $ <2,168,534>

The auditors did include depreciation which is an operations expense.  VenuWorks didn’t, so to compare the numbers, take $1,108,935 off that loss.

The audited loss is now $1,059,599, not the $665,099 VenuWorks reported.

They were only off $394,500!

Depreciation should have been included in both numbers, but even CIAM never did.

The audited statement show the City of Bloomington (taxpayers) contributed a net of $1,500,944 – not including the additional sales tax of $1,440,470 everybody who spends money in Bloomington is paying.

Want more hilarity?

See PDF page 22:

This page is the economic impact – it should be negative since Grossinger Motors Arena negatively impacts every taxpayer in Bloomington, but of course it isn’t.

VenuWorks claims events were held 244 different times for the year.  They also claim 116,179 people attended.

That’s a whopping 519 people per event!

It seats at least 7,000.

Made up numbers are created for approximately how many attendees stayed overnight and spent money in Bloomington.  There is no basis in reality for those numbers!

To make the economic impact look better, wages they paid and other spending are included.  So, they take tax money and then redistribute it and that supposedly proves what a great asset the Coliseum is to the community.

Taxpayers were scammed!

Don’t forget who voted for the scam:

It could be worse:

The problem with the last Coliseum managers was nobody at the City ever compared concession sales deposited to receipts.  The City owns the Point of Sale equipment.  Is anybody printing off reports and comparing deposits?

If they are, it has never been publicly acknowledged.  VenuWorks could be pocketing money just like John Butler and crew are being prosecuted for doing.

The arena is a joke and always will be.  It has cost the citizens of Bloomington millions and will continue to cost millions.

Now, watch the media fail to report the REAL loss or ask any questions about City oversight.  I don’t think anybody at the City has ever acknowledged they failed the taxpayers.  That will continue too,.

Maybe citizens should look for Council members who care on April 2nd.



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6 thoughts on “The media won’t report this!

  1. The reason the local media doesn’t report the truth about the Collesium is because it would expose the failure of government-run entities and Downtown Bloomington, as well as the local politicians that support the ideology of government-led economics. The Pantagraph only reports about the Collesium when it has to or when it spots an opportunity to redirect the narrative like Diane’s FOIA and financial analysis. By the way, if my math is right, 519 per event in a venue that holds 7,000 means attendance is less than 7.5% per event. Wow! What an asset for Bloomington, huh taxpayers?!

  2. Thanks Diane for reporting the actual numbers. The losses continue month after month with no attempt to address the loss, it has become an accepted outcome. Three million dollars a year completely wasted.

    When you look at the details of what is considered an event, many are laughable. The attendance number that really counts is how many tickets were sold to events, not just how many people walked through the door for a freebie of some sort.

  3. The City’s/Venue Works’ report does not indicate whether or not the attendees of the High School graduation, Farmers Market, Bookbag Give-away, etc. were counted as individual paying attendees.
    Don’t even get me started on Economic Impact!! Diane, you are absolutely correct, the Arena and BCPA have a negative economic impact. There is no way that $1M loss could be made up with the few meals and the low wage income of the employees. If there was truly a $16M positive impact solely from the Arena, there would be no structural deficit.

    1. Good point! The economic impact numbers are specious at best. They’re likely just made up. Same is true of the BCPA, SBDC at IWU, Route 66 museum, so on and so forth. Our local leaders seem to use “economic impact” as a method to cover up actual, financially provable loses of taxpayer money. And why not? The Pantagraph, GLT, WJBC, Chamber, EDC, and all the other establishment institutions will either parrot this information back or look the other way.

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