Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority explores reopening event spaces

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ----- Members of the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority look toward the future, as they explore the next steps for welcoming guests back to their event spaces.

"We've got a great partnership with the city," said RAVE Chairperson Craig Thomas.

As the state's restrictions begin to ease, RAVE prepares to reopen the doors to its two largest locales, the Coronado Performing Arts Center and the BMO Harris Bank Center.

"There are going to be enhanced cleaning. There's going to most likely be screening. The concert and entertainment facilities are implementing guidelines across the country, across the world really, that people are paying attention to. Right now, it's evaluating what makes the most sense," said Troy Flynn, RAVE Executive Director and General Manager.

On Monday, Rockford City Council approved a $2 million line of credit to support the organization in the wake of more than 40 event cancellations due to the pandemic. RAVE Chairperson Craig Thomas says it's a step in the right direction.

"The hope is that we'll be able to start getting back into some revenue generating events, both at the Coronado and the BMO, that will allow us to minimize the shortfall that we're going to have," said Thomas.

"I can assure you that when it's time for the doors to open, we are going to be very well prepared. I think we have to stay vigilant and I think we have to start moving toward re-opening and do it in the correct way," said Flynn.

Thomas says he is grateful for the community's support during this time and he plans to keep them at the forefront of whatever decisions are made to keep ticketholders safe and secure when they are able to reopen.