In an effort to clean up its act, the MetroCentre had to stop spending and start proving that it is financially responsible. The memories, the cake, the excitement was all questionable three years ago. In the Fall of 2003 the show might not have gone on. Rockford City Aldermen decided to co-sign a $700,000 line of credit to keep the cash-strapped MetroCentre running. In return, the MetroCentre had to provide the council with a business plan and a monthly financial report. General Manager Corey Pearson says, "We've made a lot of tough cuts. We've gone from 38 staff in 2002 to 16 to 20. So we had to do some tough things like cleaning up old bills, cleaning up contracts just to make sure we are viable."
MetroCentre promised the City of Rockford that in 3 years officials would make major improvements on quality of life, customer relations, positive economic impact and business stabilization. This 3-year plan was completed in two years. And now we get to keep our eyes on special events and sales. It's all part of the MetroCentre celebrating 25 years of bringing the stars to Rockford.
Peasron states, "You can get this on our website as you sign-up for our scoop you will get this. What we will offer is ticket discounts, food discounts and we'll change it up all the time."
A Star Card means the MetroCentre is financially sound and ready to look at ways to compete with those within a 500 mile radius.
Mayor Larry Morrissey tells 23 News, "We are very serious about working with the MetroCentre to figure out how we will raise the money to improve this facility to make it competitive for the next 25 years."
And then we'll continue to be star struck when the MetroCentre rolls out the red carpet for big names like Cher and the Rolling Stones.
The star card does not cost any money. All you need to do is log on to www.centreevents.com and register for "The Scoop." Also on-line event-goers can purchase and print tickets at home.
Over the last three years attendance at the MetroCentre increased by 85%. The MetroCentre is a 10,000 seat arena. In 2003, the concert that drew everyone in was Cher with 7,380 people buying tickets. In 2004, Bill Gaither Homecoming brought out over 6,450 people and then in 2005, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, and Sugarland brought in 6,876 guests to the MetroCentre. Keep in mind these are just concert numbers. Events like the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation and the Jehovah Witness Conventions also bring in quite a crowd every year.