What about the money Bloomington owes VenuWorks?

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been paying VenuWorks $4,999.98 sporadically since 2016, payments are marked loan principle.  This story says why:   https://blnnews.com/2016/10/06/so-bloomington-claims/ The short version:  VenuWorks paid John Butler (CIAM) for equipment at the Coliseum.  The City is reimbursing them for that purchase.  The total was $299,999, no interest, payments over 5 […]

Bloomington – Monday Payments

By:  Diane Benjamin A little history: A lot of department spending at the City of Bloomington is done by PCard.  Since December isn’t a month with conferences to attend and employees are more likely to take time off, it shouldn’t be a surprise PCard spending is lower than usual: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23757 https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23995 January: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=24210 February: So […]

Coliseum: Embarrassing!

By:  Diane Benjamin If you haven’t heard, the trial for John Butler as a result from his time managing the Coliseum got delayed again.  It will supposedly happen on August 10th. More event reports have been posted, all show a profit.  See if you can figure out what is embarrassing about this one: VenuWorks is […]

Arena Events – all profits!

By:  Diane Benjamin https://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1817 4 ISU hockey events are also posted.  Even with dismal attendance the profits were:  $1,727.26, $2,269.16, $2,458.26, and $1,997.42.  Most of the profit is from charging $2000 to play there. This year the City projected Arena: revenues of $4,883,795 expenses of $5,219,846  –  for a loss of $336,051. For the year […]

Coliseum and Hockey

By:  Diane Benjamin VenuWorks finally posted 2 hockey reports for the new league playing at the Coliseum.  (Grossinger Motors Arena is too long folks) The memo states these are the top two teams in the League, a new one from here will be playing next year.  I do not know why these two games were […]

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 […]

Hockey AGAIN?

By:  Diane Benjamin Here’s my take on today’s hockey announcement: Hockey can show a profit for VenuWorks if they are smarter than in the past. ISU is only charged $2000 to play at the Coliseum, the ticket sales are dismal so they might not break even.  At least they aren’t bleeding for the privilege of […]

Surprise, surprise – event report posted

By:  Diane Benjamin Update to this story from yesterday:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/16/tari-on-wjbc-3/ Usually when there is good news people like to report it quickly.  The Luke Combs concert profit is good news, why it wasn’t posted as required by the arena contract is a mystery. https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23305 Country music concerts always do well.  If VenuWorks had self-promoted this […]

Capitalism defeats government

By:  Diane Benjamin Definition of capitalism: Making your life better by providing goods or services other people want at a price they will pay. It is a simple concept that has improved the lives of millions around the globe.  It is color blind and doesn’t care who you sleep with.  It is what made America […]

Get ready for VenuWorks fiction

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are the Quarterly losses VenuWorks has previously reported for this fiscal year: 5/1/2018 – 7/31/2018  -130,634.54   PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20022 8/1/2018 – 10/31/2018  -96,333.02    PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20795 11/1/2018 – 1/31/19    -68,108.47      PDF page 5 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21235 Year to date for THREE quarters shows a loss of $295,076.03. The 4th […]

VenuWorks fail

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve heard numerous times about the lack of people working Coliseum events.  Last night was no exception. I believe the final hockey game to ever be played at the arena took place last night.  A local business sponsored suites and handed out free tickets. According to an attendee, there was only 1 […]

Arena Events finally posted

By: Diane Benjamin The missing event reports from Grossinger Motors Arena have finally been posted. Details here: https://blnnews.com/2019/03/11/more-venuworks-city-fail/ Last year the Bacon and Beer Fest made a profit of $ 12,230.53. 1319 people attended. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15976 This year the event was held earlier in the day, attendance dropped to 1166, profit dropped to $ 8,037.07. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21322 […]

Tired of being lied to?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve been writing about the Coliseum and the lies media repeats for years! CIAM and VenuWorks created their own financial statements.  Every local media uses their numbers and repeats them like gospel.  Both can say anything they want in those statements – they create them. Numbers reported by both are not accurate, […]

What no one in Bloomington talks about

By:  Diane Benjamin The first thing that is NEVER discussed is what government should do verses what they are doing.  Budgeting requires making choices, Bloomington has decided roads aren’t that important.  What they want it more important.  You will probably be saddled with some type of water park and a sports complex this year. Let’s […]

Tari needs reigned in AGAIN

By:  Diane Benjamin The Council held a retreat on November 4, 2017.  The minutes from the meeting show just how bad a City Manager David Hales was.  See them here, rarely do the minutes reflect contentious discussions – you can see some of it here even if they don’t reflect how bad it was:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16276 […]

Debt: Normal vrs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/18 Normal had total debt of $89,823,286.  $88,125,000 won’t be paid off until 2041.  Interest rates range from 2.00% to 6.30%. Source As of 4/30/18 Bloomington had total debt of $242,010,034.  $57,095,000 won’t be paid off until 2035.  The interest rates aren’t listed.  $173,646,119 is liabilities for pensions and associated […]

Is this your wish for 2019?

By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council has until April 1st to fire VenuWorks:  PDF page 2    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=10901 The Coliseum (Grossinger Motors Arena) continues to fleece taxpayers. The audited loss for last year was $2,168,534. https://blnnews.com/2018/11/18/the-media-wont-report-this/ Taxpayers were deceived by the consultants before it was built – against the wishes of citizens.  They predicted revenues […]

New Years Eve canceled at Arena

By:  Diane Benjamin This event was scheduled last August for New Year’s Eve:     http://www.grossingermotorsarena.com/arena-info/news/article/2018/08/grossinger-motors-arena-to-host-new-years-eve-featuring-hairball The website doesn’t say when or why it as canceled, but it is canceled: https://www1.ticketmaster.com/hairball/event/07005515D35C66E5 A concert is scheduled for January 19th – Old Dominion.   Monster Trucks is coming February 8-10. See upcoming events here:  http://www.grossingermotorsarena.com/events-and-tickets/calendar Hockey doesn’t generate enough money […]

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:     http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=20281 “Pepsi” is also on PDF pages 32 and 33. Grossinger Motors does pay for naming rights of the former US […]

The media won’t report this!

By:  Diane Benjamin Long time readers know the former Coliseum managers would issue their financial statements, and then the auditor would issue theirs.  The media always reported the CIAM numbers but never the audited numbers. Audited losses were much higher! The media is continuing to report fake news because the audited number from VenuWorks aren’t […]

Empty Arena: Hockey

By:  Diane Benjamin The picture below is from October 20th – Flying Aces Hockey.  The person who posted this to Facebook was playing a game, the beer won. The team has to pay $5,000 to the arena just to play there.  Grossinger Motors Arena management makes money regardless of how many people show up.  The […]

Bloomington taxpayers were scammed

By:  Diane Benjamin Of course a feasibility study was done before the Coliseum was built.  It predicted Revenue of $7.1 million and expenses of $4.8 million.  Operations would easily cover the cost of building it.   https://blnnews.com/2016/02/11/the-tale-of-the-coliseum-tari-a-hotel/ At last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, VenuWorks stated the arena would never lose LESS than $500,000. Any […]

Bloomington Council tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin The VenuWorks report is not the audited version, it is therefore immaterial.  Time allowed for the presentation is 5 minutes, included will be the fictional economic impact of the arena.  See PDF page 40:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=19928 Financial information is on PDF page 39.  The loss does not include depreciation on the building which […]

Where taxes go: Arena

By:  Diane Benjamin Bloomington 2019 budget PDF page 15   http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=18370 Guess why your roads can’t get fixed?  See the chart below for what gets close to $6 million dollars this year!  Remember when Markowitz said it would never cost you a dime? PDF pages 13-14:     When the budget was done, the City was […]

Does Grossinger regret buying naming rights yet?

By:  Diane Benjamin Maybe the City can compensate Grossinger for all the bad publicity by giving them naming rights to the Ice Center.  Pepsi quit paying for it YEARS ago, but even in meeting documentation Parks and Rec still calls it Pepsi Ice Center.  I bet Pepsi loves it – free advertising!  Monday night this […]

Arena – Will Gleason shut it down?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local paper has an editorial declaring the new City Manager the right guy because Decatur re-did their downtown.  They think Normal did, so there is no reason Bloomington can’t. They forgot Normal was in ZERO debt before they spent around $100,000,000 on Uptown.  (Is that restaurant space on the Circle still […]

Bloomington-Overtime, Pension Spiking, etc

By:  Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll Monday night:    http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=17676 Bi-Weekly Overtime!  (hours/payment – PDF page 6) Weekly employees Overtime: Two entries for Sick Leave Buy Back. Pension Spiking: More expenses for the Coliseum? They haven’t gotten to the elevator yet. Consultants – Administration How many downtown properties aren’t paying taxes because Bloomington bought them?  Maybe […]

Council fails again

By:  Diane Benjamin The majority of the Council thinks government creates prosperity.   The failure of the State of Illinois should be instructive, to them Illinois just isn’t doing it right. Congrats – you are getting another City employee with salary and benefits.  That makes 3 new downtown employees.  The Council failed to understand that past […]