VenuWorks and the Farmers Market

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Coliseum didn’t come close to making the projected profit before it was built.  Now it is being recreated as a community asset.

At more than one City Council meeting it has been announced that around 1000 people attend the indoor Farmers Markets held at the Coliseum.  Note:  Nobody ever claims these 1000 attendees then go spend money downtown.

VenuWorks doesn’t issue any event reports for Farmers Markets.  1000 people through the doors is far more than show up for a hockey game, why aren’t these events?

Is VenuWorks getting revenue from the vendors?  From parking?  Is the City contributing since during the summer they close City streets?  Does VenuWorks have employee expenses?  I know people have to pass through security to get in.

I heard from a reliable source that attendees are counted in the VenuWorks annual report of “people through the doors”.  Why is that when the Farmers Market aren’t reported as an event?  Without an event report why are non-paying bodies counted as attendees?

I’m looking for some transparency.  Somebody is footing the bills, I’d like to know if it’s taxpayers.  They already pay enough for the building that “would never cost them a cent”.

There are no pictures of past Farmers Markets on the VenuWorks website or Facebook page.  I wonder why?





10 thoughts on “VenuWorks and the Farmers Market

  1. I went to the Thanksgiving Farmer’s Market. No purses allowed. It was cold and snowing. Many women, myself included, were sent back to their cars to put their purses away after waiting in line. They do let you bring in cloth grocery bags. I Went to collect signatures for a candidate running for a McLean County Office. We were told we couldn’t do it inside. We went outside and were able to get enough signatures. I think it may have been because we were not the “right fit” for the government funded employees running the farmer’s market that day. I was there for over an hour, I don’t see how they could have possibly come up with 1000 people. 500 at most.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Any form of campaigning, collecting signatures, is not allowed on government property. If you see someone else doing such, call them out. Take a photo and report it to the election commission.


      1. So the Coliseum is government property? Is ISU? I‘ve seen lots of employees and students doing it. Or what about the campaigning a political rallies at the BCPA? Is that illegal as well?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, Angela. Campaigning for elected office is not allowed in publicly owned buildings. Political presentations or speeches by invited guests would be allowed provided they are not running for office at the time.


      3. So WGLT holding campaign debates at ISU is illegal? Or Jenn Carrillo making her campaign announcement on the steps of the publicly funded museum of history was illegal?


  2. I can speak for MANY “local” people who do farmers markets. They WILL NOT be a vendor at Bloomington for a number of reasons! ONE of which is they do MUCH better at another local market then they ever did at Bloomington, and the hours are MUCH shorter & convenient.. This along with the fees that Bloomington gets for a “season” at the market, makes it unattractive to MANY “local” farmers market vendors..


  3. IF it’s for ALL season, that is NOTHING to “beat the drum about”! Another local market gets 200-300 a week WHEN they count the 1st week of the month. Want to REALLY know WHY vendors don’t want to sell at Bloomington? Look up their RULES (of which there are many) for selling there. Not to mention almost $350 in fees for a SINGLE stall!
    I won’t go in to ALL the other reasons!! See the below link for ALL THE RULES and FEES!

    Click to access 2019-Vendor-Policies-Final.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

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