Illinois State Fair Coliseum closes temporarily for repairs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Department of Agriculture officials say they’re temporarily closing the Coliseum at the state fairgrounds after engineers discovered structural deficiencies indoors.

The State Journal-Register reports that the building will stay closed until repairs can be made.

Agriculture Director Raymond Poe said in a statement that the decision was made to protect visitors and livestock who use the Coliseum. He said the building’s problems highlight years of neglect by previous administrations.

Poe said the fairgrounds infrastructure needs significant investment and that the emergency approach to repairs can’t continue.

Department officials say it has been more than 10 years since it received a capital budget to fund fairgrounds repairs.

The Mid-America Mane Event Horse Show that’s scheduled to begin Thursday will move to the covered practice arena south of the coliseum.