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Bloomington looks to limit financial losses on Grossinger Motors Arena

The Bloomington City Council will vote Monday on amending its contract with management company VenuWorks in an effort to limit the city’s financial losses on the Grossinger Motors Arena.

The city hired VenuWorks to manage the arena in 2016 after several years of management under Central Illinois Arena Management under the name “U.S. Cellular Coliseum.” Several of CIAM’s former chief executives are now criminally charged with financial mismanagement of the arena.

The city said VenuWorks has agreed to alter its agreement on the last two years of its five-year contract with Bloomington to require that budget deficits on the arena cannot exceed $350,000. Any deficits over $350,000 could come out of VenuWorks’ base and variable management fees, putting up to 50 percent of those revenues at risk if costs run over at the venue.

The arena recently suffered another blow when the Central Illinois Flying Aces hockey team applied for a temporary withdrawal from the USHL for the 2019-20 season. The team’s lease at the Grossinger Motors Arena closed at the end of this season.

The city would also allow VenuWorks to start charging “market rate” for parking at events where more than 500 people are expected. The city would receive $1.50 per car, with all other money going toward “bottom-line expenses” at the arena.

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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