BCPA’s astonishing lack of transparency

By: Diane Benjamin


No BCPA event reports have been posted to the City website. Evidently I have to FOIA all of them.

From this year’s budget:

$1,700,000 of the Revenue is from Home Rule Sales Tax. Of that $840,206 goes to bond payments.

See the complete BCPA presentation in the budget starting on PDF page 201: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/26434/637575549746730000

Not only does the City budget for a loss, the BCPA wouldn’t exist of Bloomington hadn’t raise the Sales Tax rate years ago. BCPA gets 1/4th of the 1% increase.

Of course the Convention and Visitors Bureau has a formula for economic impact. The Coliseum used to gloat about their number too. It amounts to no proof, just assumptions about how much money attendees spend elsewhere when they attend shows.

I added the number of attendees to the two previous stories:

621 people over 3 shows:

1202 people over 6 shows:

A total of 1823 people attended 9 shows. No wonder the reports aren’t posted!

In three months the BCPA lost at least $140,251 not including salaries and overhead. The budgeted loss for the entire year is $199,526, it ends on 4/30/2022. The first show this year was 9/8/2021. It was closed because of Covid before then.







3 thoughts on “BCPA’s astonishing lack of transparency

  1. The BCPA is a huge money pit where sound business and common sense do not apply. For years, the BCPA existed as something of a members-only entertainment venue for the elitists and their pals to show us and themselves how “cultured” they are. All at the expense of the taxpayers. The average resident has no desire to go to the BCPA. The booked events are generally D or C- acts at best for which the BCPA overpays and for which there is little to no demand outside of the decision-makers and their cronies. ‘Book it and they will come’ is the approach of those in charge. The two lines of defense for the BCPA are laughable. First line of defense: it’s like the park system, it’s part of the quality of life and what attracts people to live and stay here; we don’t charge people to enter the parks. This logic is fatally flawed. Find me one person that relocated to Bloomington because of the BCPA or cited the BCPA as a top 10, heck Top 50, reason as to why they live in Bloomington. Second line of defense: it’s a vehicle for economic development, bringing people to town that spend money at hotels and restaurants. False, nearly all attendees live in the Twin Cities or nearby. They won’t stay at a hotel. While some may go out to eat that day, it’s important to bear in mind that there’s no increase in discretional spending by consumers due to a BCPA show. That same consumer just won’t go out the next day or weekend. Discretionary income is a finite amount for consumers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the BCPA should be sold-off immediately!

    Sell the BCPA and Privatize it – because if the community wants the BCPA, then the community will support it (WITHOUT all of the “free” tax dollars handed to them!!)

    Or just shut down the BCPA! Based on the numbers shared from BLN News, it is a loser!
    The community clearly does not want the BCPA, because they do not support the BCPA by attending the performances.

    BUT somehow we are all forced to keep the BCPA open with our tax dollars

    So sick of these mayors (Both – Koos and former Bloomington Mayor: Renner) buying up private property and sticking the tax payers with the bill for their pet projects. Enough Already!

    Liked by 1 person

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