PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Civic Center has been a staple for entertainment in central Illinois for more than 40 years.

In its operating budget for the 2024 fiscal year, the Peoria Civic Center expects a net loss of $4.4 million dollars. Even after accounting for depreciation, the budget is projected to be short $808,634. The civic center is expecting to finish 2023 with its third solid year in event income and 2024 revenues are projected to be in the same range at 4.8 Million dollars. 

“We invested some of those revenues back into the venue but we were still almost 2 million dollars under the budget we had and we used fewer taxpayer dollars this year so that gave us some surplus so if there is a rainy day in the future we have money to protect us,” said Civic Center General Manager Rik Edgar.

He continued, “What we did was re-invested in the venue so we did a lot of projects we’ve had in the hold even with that we were well under what our estimated revenues would be and generated record sales in the arena last year.”

Edgar said money will be spent on improvements, some of which will be installed by the end of October. Those projects are new seating, new handrails, roofing repairs and a new high-definition scoreboard.

He said the diverse variety of shows is what brings in the large crowds to the Civic Center.

“We do everything from ballet to rock concerts and that’s really cool because what might be great for me might not be for others but we’ll find something for you eventually,” said Edgar.

The President of Discover Peoria, JD Dalfonso said tourism is saving you money and you may not have even known about it.

“When outside tax revenue is brought in through hotel restaurant and amusement taxes in particular, it reduces the burden of potential taxes being raised here. So at least in the state of Illinois, tourism is saving households $1200 dollars a year by the fact that tourism is bringing in revenue from outside to support our communities,” said Dalfonso.

More shows coming to the Civic Center in 2024 will be announced in the following weeks.