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Rauners kick in $1 million to restore fairgrounds’ Coliseum

August 15, 2018 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner and first lady Diana Rauner have contributed $1 million to the Illinois State Fair to help rebuild and rename the 117-year-old Coliseum .

The Republican governor announced Tuesday the Rauner Family Foundation purchased naming rights so that Illinois schoolchildren could give the fairgrounds’ centerpiece a moniker for future generations.

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Rauner says that “Diana and I want to make this ‘The Peoples’ Coliseum’ just as we made the Governor’s Mansion ‘The Peoples’ House.’” The Rauners contributed at least $1 million to renovate the 1855 executive mansion that reopened last month. Diana Rauner spearheaded a $15 million fundraising effort for that work.

The Coliseum has been closed since the 2016 state fair. Inspectors found deteriorating conditions made it unsafe. It will cost about $7.5 million to restore.