BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Bloomington will take over management of Grossinger Motors Arena next month.
On Friday, a city spokesperson said current management VenuWorks and the city agreed to terminate the contract due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Management functions for the arena will move to existing city staff, and currently scheduled events are not affected.
“We have been a proud partner of the City of Bloomington since 2016. However, we understand the need to suspend our operations at the arena,” President of VenuWorks Steve Peters said.
They went into agreement in April 2016. VenueWorks provided full-service venue management for Grossinger Motors Arena, including operations, programming, finance & administration, food & beverage, and sales and marketing.
“The City is grateful to VenuWorks for their dedicated service over the years. They’ve been valued partners,” Bloomington city manager Tim Gleason said. “Current circumstances due to COVID-19 are limiting events at the Arena and other venues, however. The Arena will continue to function at allowable capacity. The City will bring management of the facility inhouse for the time being and evaluate our options going forward. The City is fortunate to have many talented employees that can assist with the operation of the Arena during this time.”
Bloomington mayor, Tari Renner says both sides were looking to do this for sometime and event limitations amid the pandemic played a role in making the decision.
“At this point, we may very well decide and this is something the council and staff are working on to have some local groups or group maybe involved in this, not necessarily just a national firm,” Renner said.
Renner says there are multiple local groups interested in partnering with the city and arena and is excited for the future of Grossinger Motors Arena.
“This is giving us an opportunity to look at the operations of the arena and to see what we might be able to do to make it a greater asset to our community to get more gigs in the coliseum, to bring more people to the community and downtown and reduce the red ink in its operations,” Renner said.
Termination of the agreement is effective June 8, pending approval by the Bloomington City Council.