Metro-East News

Illinois State Fairgrounds Coliseum found unsafe for use

News-Democrat

The Coliseum at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
The Coliseum at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Illinois Department of Agriculture

The popular Coliseum show-ring at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is unsafe for use, an investigation by The (Springfield) State Journal-Register revealed this week.

Steel columns supporting portions of the more than 100-year-old show-ring have deteriorated to the point where they could fail, according to a report obtained by the newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act request. An inspection of the 60,000-square-foot amphitheater found leaks in the roof, water damage, mold and other hazards.

Fairground operators closed the Coliseum in October after workers noticed a loose beam in the ceiling.

Fixing the Coliseum could cost upward of $3.7 million, according to the report by Hillsboro-based engineering firm Hurst-Rosche Inc. The Illinois Department of Agriculture estimates $180 million in repairs are already needed at the Springfield and Du Quoin state fairgrounds, according to the State Journal-Register.

The department told the Journal-Register that the department is reviewing documents from the report and is formulating plans to “accommodate those who wish to use the Coliseum in the interim.”

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