PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Trade publication Pollstar recently ranked the Peoria Civic Center in the top 100 in the country for arena and theater ticket sales so far this year, with just under 120,000 being sold over the last six months or so.

The arena ranked number 67 for mid-year ticket sales with 79,707 and number 78 in gross sales with just over $5 million. The theater ranked number 93 in mid-year ticket sales with 38,291 and number 95 in gross sales with more than $2.1 million.

General Manager Rik Edgar said the last two years have been the best since the center expanded more than two decades ago and described it as “historic.”

“It really comes down to fans, great location, and really fantastic staff and promoter partners,” he said.

Edgar said the arena is currently undergoing renovations, which have seen a new carpet be installed. Bathroom and concession stand renovations as well as a larger jumbotron and LED ribbon boards will improve the “home court advantage,” as he put it. The $20 million given to the civic center by the city council is partly going towards those improvements.

The ticket numbers are just for ticketed events, including concerts, family shows, and Broadway performances. Athletic events such as Peoria Rivermen and Bradley men’s basketball games were not counted.

Edgar believes these numbers are an indication of the “momentum” that the Peoria Civic Center currently has.

“They are fantastic numbers for a secondary market and with some of the things we have in the works for the fall, we think that those numbers are just going to get bigger,” he said.

In March 2023, the City Council voted to issue $20 million in bonds to help the civic center fix several items not covered by $25 million already given to the facility by the state.

The move was done in large part, based upon the debate at the meetings, to save the Rivermen hockey team as an aging ice plant seen as a sticking point on lease negotiations between the team and the building. The lease remains under negotiation and the ice plant has not yet been repaired or replaced.

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