Public-Private Partnership Fail: Coliseum

By: Diane Benjamin

The Arena was renamed in 2017 when Grossinger Motors agreed to pay naming rights. See this story:

The naming rights expired June 30, 2022.

Grossinger Motors doesn’t even exist anymore so obviously they didn’t renew the naming rights. I would have to file a FOIA to see if they even paid the balance of the contract since the local dealership sold quite awhile ago.

Of course the name Grossinger is still on the building. Pepsi was still on the Ice Center long after they stopped paying naming rights.

The Coliseum was only successful when it first opened. It has been a disaster ever since and it will continue to be a drain on city finances. Private management has been a disaster under two contracts.

Public-Private Partnerships cost taxpayers far more than they cost the private company. “Private” isn’t going to risk their money, the public is forced to risk theirs. Governments think projects they share with “private” are beneficial because things get done they couldn’t do on their own. “Private” can go out of business leaving “public” with the bills. The Coliseum is the perfect example of how NOT to do a partnership.

It looks like Illinois State University should just take over the bonds – only their events are booked:

How long is the City of Bloomington going to pretend Grossinger is still the name? It’s doubtful that anyone else is going to put their name on it. Go back to “Coliseum”, townies might continue to use “White Elephant”.

Meanwhile, whenever someone mentions a public-private partnership: RUN.






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