U.S. Cellular Coliseum officials plan to announce further details of a deal in the near future. (WJBC File Photo)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - U.S. Cellular Coliseum officials say they're close to finalizing a deal to host professional basketball at the venue again next season.
Central Illinois Arena Management president John Butler said Monday they've reached a tentative deal with local investors.
"There's some final details with the league to be worked out, but I can tell you that they're in a pretty good position from the standpoint of their marketing and sales and I'm excited about what they can bring to the table," Butler said.
Central Illinois Drive owner Jim Morris announced earlier this year that he would not be returning for a second season, and that the team was up for sale.
At that time, former Drive Executive Vice President Scott Henderson expressed interest in taking over the team.
"I would anticipate having a similar brand and type of competitive team we had when we won the championship last year," Butler said.
The names of the investors have not been released but Butler said final plans will be announced "in the near future."
The Drive finished in first place in the Premiere Basketball League last year with a 19-1 record and won the championship game against the Rochester Razorsharks.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.