Council Briefing: New Bloomington Police Chief sworn in; VenuWorks to help solicit new Pepsi Ice Center naming rights

 Bloomington Police Chief Clay Wheeler is sworn in before Monday night's City council meeting. (Photo: Breanna Grow/AdaptBN)

Bloomington Police Chief Clay Wheeler is sworn in before Monday night's City council meeting. (Photo: Breanna Grow/AdaptBN)

Bloomington Police Chief Clay Wheeler was sworn in Monday night, joined by his family and fellow service members at City Hall.

The Bloomington native joined the Bloomington Police Department in 1991, serving as a third-shift patrolman, field-training officer, and hostage negotiator and as a detective in the criminal investigation division for 13 years. Wheeler also served as sergeant and lieutenant before becoming assistant chief in 2011.

Wheeler assumes the position of former Chief Brenden Heffner, who retired from the department Friday to become U.S. Marshal for the Central District of Illinois.

Pepsi Ice Center naming rights

Grossinger Motors Arena operator VenuWorks will help the City find a new naming rights sponsor for the Pepsi Ice Center.

The Council approved an agreement to pay VenuWorks a 5% commission on any future naming rights contract.

Owned and operated by the City’s parks and recreation department, the center’s original naming rights agreement effectively expired in 2016, although Pepsi hasn’t required the City to remove its signage before securing a new sponsor.

VenuWorks helped secure new naming rights for the attached arena, formerly the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, under a similar agreement in 2017. At the time VenuWorks also issued a marketing study on the arena and ice center and conducted local and national market research for naming rights opportunities.  

Council favors lease agreement with local Boys and Girls Club

Bloomington aldermen said they favored an agreement to lease land at Sunnyside Park to the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal to build a new clubhouse.

The club says it’s grown substantially over the last few years, but the size and age of its current facility at 1615 Illinois St. threatens to limit future growth.

Staff discussed a 99-year lease with a $1 annual rate, with the City maintaining control of the property. The council will vote on a comprehensive agreement at a future meeting.

Go Further: Bloomington to Pursue Lease Agreement with Boys and Girls Club for New Facility

Breanna Grow