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Michael Jackson memorial brought in $4 million to L.A., audit says

November 16, 2009 |  7:26 am

A new City of Los Angeles report found that the controversial public memorial for Michael Jackson at Staples Center actually brought in more money to area businesses than officials paid out in police and other public services costs.

The chief legislative analyst concluded that the event cost the city $3.2 million, including $1.2 million for straight salary, overtime and other expenses. Most of that money covered costs incurred by the Los Angeles Police Department, which was out in force over concerns about huge crowds converging in downtown L.A. for the pop star's funeral.

But the report said that the funeral stimulated the local economy to the tune of an estimated $4 million. The report did not break down the estimate. But it cited a study by LA Inc. showing an increase of $1.2 million in hotel revenues.

The audit also said that cabs and star tours reported a slight increase in business, and suggested that restaurant business probably went up.

There has been much debate about whether the city should have shouldered costs for the Jackson memorial. Critics have said that either the Jackson family or L.A.-based concert promoter AEG Live -- the company that hosted the memorial -- should have contributed more money.

The L.A. City Council's Public Safety Committee will review the audit today.

-- Shelby Grad

Panorama: Michael Jackson memorial at Staples Center

Photos: Remembering Michael Jackson

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