A three month management contract with VenuWorks for the U.S. Cellular Coliseum was approved by the Bloomington City Council Monday after they heard the details from the company and city staff at a work session and regular meeting. The company will receive a $114 thousand per year management fee as well as a portion of money made from concessions, sales, and naming rights.
VenuWorks will begin their duties later this week. Chief Operating Officer Jim Siehl of VenuWorks says they look forward to working with the city.
“It’s always exciting to go to a new community and help somebody out and take a facility that is very nice and make it as absolutely successful as it can be.”
The previous company, Central Illinois Arena Management or CIAM, decided not to renew its contract with the city, creating the need to bring in the new management company.
While the new agreement may not create additional jobs in Bloomington, Siehl says workers that are not bound by non-compete contracts with CIAM will be able to continue working at the venue.
“Our focus would be to keep the bulk of the staff in place and evaluate them over the next 60 or 90 days and see what makes the best and most sensible way to go.”
VenuWorks plans to bring in an Executive Director from their company, based in Iowa, within the next three weeks. Siehl says it’s important for the person they hire or any employees from outside the community to get locally involved.
“We encourage that with all of our folks to get out, become a part of the community, join the Rotary join whatever they can find to do.”
Siehl also discussed how VenuWorks will partner with other community venues such as Illinois State University or the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts to plan events at the Coliseum. He says it’s important to know what’s going on. “It’s having the relationship with all the facilities in town that says ‘everybody can be successful,’ and we want everybody to be successful.”
VenuWorks plans to be in “full swing” within six months, but they’ll take time to review a year’s worth of events to get a better idea of what the Coliseum can offer.