BLOOMINGTON, IL (CelebrityAccess) — The U.S. Cellular Coliseum will soon be looking for both a new naming rights sponsor and a new management team for the venue.
According to the Decatur Herald-Review, the decade old contract between the city and mobile company U.S. Cellular, worth $175,000 annually, is due to expire on April 1st, and the company has indicated that they do not plan to renew.
U.S. Cellular said the biggest factor in not renewing their naming rights agreement was their lack of presence in the local market. The company has not had retail outlets in the Bloomington area since 2012, the Herald-Review said.
At the same time, venue management organization Central Illinois Arena Management (CIAM) announced that they will not be negotiating a new contract with with the City of Bloomington to continue operating the venue. Their current contract, which has been in place since the venue opened in 2006, also expires on April 1st.
Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said the city has no plans to take over operation of the venue and indicated that they will seek a private operator to step in for CIAM.
"If the private sector can do this and be subject to market competition, I think that would be superior to establishing essentially another city bureaucracy," Renner told the Herald-Review. "There has been some discussion about whether (the city) handles concessions, but it's nothing other than a discussion." – Staff Writers