How much the ARENA really lost

By:  Diane Benjamin

Remember the celebrations when VenuWorks announced they ONLY lost $276,367?

They budgeted a loss of $495,514, so everybody happily reported they lost less than expected.  See PDF page 27:

Long time readers won’t be surprised to learn the auditors didn’t agree with the  VenuWorks accounting.

The audited financial report has appeared on the city website without a peep from anyone:

How much did VenuWorks REALLY lose?

Arena loss

Since government assumes silly things like depreciation aren’t a real expense, I will subtract it.

Without it – VenuWorks lost


That is $214,496 more than they reported.

(and really close to the budget!)

(CIAM 2.0?)

How about we just round the 1 year loss to a half a million.  Remember that number because the media will be reporting $214,496 for the entire year.  Truth in reporting doesn’t exist.

Depreciation is a real expense.  It is used to account for how much it cost to build.  Of course, true costs are usually immaterial, especially how much interest taxpayers are forced to pay.


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15 thoughts on “How much the ARENA really lost

  1. Am I missing something. Where is the payment for debt on the coliseum. Add that in and lets see how much taxpayers really lost.

      1. I just recalculated my household budget by taking out the mortgage payments. Wow! It does make things look much rosier. Leave it to the City of Bloomington. “We’re only losing half a million dollars a year if you don’t count the debt of course.” Haha! Unreal.

  2. Would love to see the same done for the BCPA – without counting the $1.3+ million from the sales tax earmark they count as revenue. Their losses would probably show about $1,600,000+ annually BEFORE accounting for debt payment on the millions they borrowed to renovate. I continue to believe the BCPA (with our without the Creativity Center) is a bigger drain on City finances than the Arena – yet the general public thinks the opposite.

  3. Lying. It’s who they are. It’s what they do. Never trust what they say or what they do. You can be sure whatever it is, it’s not good for the taxpayer or the city/town.

      1. VenueWorks gets paid based on performance and merit, right Diane? Asking for a friend. 😉

  4. It’s probably been said before, but mathematically, if the City boarded up, padlocked, and never used the Arena, it would actually lose less taxpayer money than if it were operational. That’s very telling. Wonder if anyone in government or so-called leadership has the guts to say that. Of course not, the retort would be that the visitors to the arena are an economic boost to business in the community. That, of course, is hogwash. But, it’s difficult to prove. So, the charade goes on.

  5. Judydome, BCPA, Connect Transit, Town of Normal leases, thousands of dollars of “free feeds” for every Tom, Dick, and Harry imaginable. (And probably millions in graft and crony capitalism we don’t even know about.) How much can the taxpayers stand?

    Don’t tell me that the present local governments are not “The Enemy”.

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