Pepsi Ice? Coliseum? Tax increases?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Pepsi hasn’t paid for naming rights at the Ice Center for years.  That doesn’t keep Bloomington from still giving them free advertising:

PDF page 196 of the annual financial statements:

“Pepsi” is also on PDF pages 32 and 33.

Grossinger Motors does pay for naming rights of the former US Cellular Coliseum, but that doesn’t stop the City from using the old name:  (same page)

I believe using the old name violates the naming rights agreement Grossinger signed.  I wonder if that gives them the right to cancel the agreement?

The reason for this story is the attendance and event information on the page referenced above.  The data spans 2 pages without reference on page 2, so I created a readable chart.  I guess the City has never heard of printing “landscape” so the entire chart is on the same page.  Maybe they do it on purpose to hide information, I’m sure they would like to hide this.

Attendance at the Ice Center is dropping, attendance at the arena is dismal!


Instead of addressing the real issues destroying the budget, Monday night the Council again discussed opt-out insurance for laterals connecting your house to the city water and sewer.  You will be automatically in when the program starts unless you opt-out.  There will be an additional program to cover repairs, that one will be opt-in.  The first program only helps cover additional costs you may be charged due to undetected leaks.

If you need a little comedy this weekend, the Council discussion could have scripted a “Who’s on first” episode.  Hit play below to hear Jim Karch describe the programs followed by Council questions.  At one point he mentions the City will receive payment for leaks, evidently they have been reducing bills for many residents.

Body cameras will be back for approval.  Good.  If ISU hadn’t had them, we wouldn’t have WGLT employee Judy Valente flipping out while the police treated her with excessive respect and restraint.

The cameras will protect citizens if Bloomington has any bad cops and protect the police from false complaints.

Also discussed were future tax increases!

Pensions are partially funded by the Utilities Tax increase Tari Renner got passed several years ago.  They have been “saving” whatever excess money it raised, but now they need to start spending it.  In two years or less the reserves will be gone.  Property taxes are being eyed since most other municipalities use them to fund pensions.  Like Normal, in most years property taxes have to be raised because they need more money.  That discussion was also entertaining as some council members wanted  “revenue neutral” tax increases.  That defeats the purpose, but they didn’t notice.  Some thought a “little” tax increase would be okay, raise property taxes and eliminate the Utilities Tax increase.  That would make future increases easy, just change the property tax rate while wring their hands.  Former conservative Council member David Sage mentioned cuts.  Shock and Awe!  He was mostly ignored.

Don’t expect fiscal responsibility to suddenly appear, especially if some of the radicals running for Council get elected next year.

Hit play for Jim Karch:



3 thoughts on “Pepsi Ice? Coliseum? Tax increases?

  1. Wow! So attendance of 124,520 for 223 events in 2017 means that the average event attendance is 558. The capacity is 7,000 per multiple online references. If my math is correct, that’s a hair under 8% of attendance per event. Also, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume much of the attendance reflects “comps” for companies that have paid to advertise or sponsor the arena and/or event(s). Further, a handful of successful events likely skew the average. Were there 558 people at the last Bloomington Edge game? Of course, no one on the City Council has the guts to question the results (or lack thereof). The wrong naming in the reports reflects laziness. The report preparer probably does a simple copy/paste and doesn’t bother to read and review it. And why not? Neither does the City Council. Separately, I see more tax increases were discussed. Like most of your readers, Diane, I’m shocked. Haha! Normal’s AirBnB tax (excuse me, “privilege tax”) is likely just around the corner for Bloomington.


  2. Just got email that Peoria is dropping ticket prices for Cirque de Soleil by 30%. Guess no one has any disposable income left after all the tax hikes and waste.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every time I look at the Colosseum I just see a massive hulking white elephant that continues to need to be fed while doing next to nothing for it’s keep. It’s not the building’s fault of course, it’s just an inanimate building, but it is the manifestation of something that was built and NOT really wanted in the first place but foisted upon us. It is only logical that the less disposable income people have, the less they will do, when one can not afford to pay for tickets to something most simply won’t go, when it is a choice between seeing _____ and paying the power bill or keeping the water on most people will choose to pay the bills, not throw money at _____. Illinois, and BloNo are simply a mess and yet the idiots keep electing more and more democrats – do they NOT see what democrat leadership has done to nearly every place it has held sway over for a long time? I guess not.


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