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

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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Comments () | Archives (17)

Bogus. The same non-scientific results would follow if we encouraged local prostitution: an increase in city revenues over the cost of enforcement.

The fact that the Los Angeles Police Department over estimated the size of the crowds isn't AEG or the Jackson family fault. The LAPD is the expert in this field in crowd control. Once again it failed to properly do its job. If the bubblehead City Attorney intends to pursue AEG and the Jacksons for the cost, it should only be for reasonable expense based on the actual police force needed for the actual size of the crowd. However, since the

Also, the City Attorney needs to be removed for his attempted strong-arm shakedown of AEG's CEO. The City's Attorney demand for $5 million clearly shows that he operates likes a mobster from the ship yards.

Pay up for what you owe AEG.

Leave him ALONE. Stop using Mr. Jackson's name for PRESS. My god...isn't that what ruined his life? Essentially? You are all still making money off of Michael. Let him go! Jennifer Kaye

I wonder how much productivity was lost due to the closing of the freeway for the hearse carrying Mr. Jackson. Funny how stopped freeways for such things never make it into these sorts of estimates.

If the event "brought in" $4m in to the city, how much actually ended up in city coffers? Sure, some people had to park and some people had to take taxis, but any real analysis should compare the costs to the actual net revenue experienced by the city.

I bet the net revenue to the city on the $4m is at best 10% to the city, or $400k. The Times should be better than comparing gross income to net revenue.

If the Jackson family made Michael's funeral a public event, they should shoulder the cost. AEG profited from Michael Jackson's funeral, AEG should have also shoulder the cost. Using tax payer's dollars to profit off the death of a legend is not un-common, but now since LA is has to bare the burden this issue is gaining attention. Shame on the Jackson family and AEG. They both have made more money to cover the funeral and pocket the remainder balance. GREEDY PEOPLE.

Michael Jackson and his talent was, and remains, a money making machine. His ATM is spitting out cash like 12/20/12. Some people ask me if I feel sorry for the passing of "The king of pop"? Not on the best of days! He lived a life of his own choosing/making, famous, gloriously wealthy, abused the privledge and paid the ultimate price. Death is an inevitable consequence of living. If one is measured by how others benefit from their existence, then MJ was successful in ways most people can only dream of attaining. If there is a soul MJ's will never rest. Greed rules!!

Is it safe to assume that MJ has generated 100 times the revenue for a "Public Funeral" for LA? I think so. Im sure 100 times is a vast underestimation! The City Attorny's office, I'm sure, has more pertinent issues involving the citzenry than estasblishing a brash & aimless public persona of its new leader. It's so obvious. We the people are not fools. Politicing over a funeral is gutless & pethetic.

I believe that Mayor What's His Name made a statement to the effect that since this was for a celebrity, the city will pursue this no further. So, the people who can afford it, will not pay, the rest of us peons need to keep our wallets hidden.

This piece shows the LA Times' bias towards AEG. The report says the City Government spent $3.3 million it doesn't have. Businesses in the City (1.e. Hotels, restaurants and T-shirt vendors) collected an estimated $4Million. Your headline emphasizes the $4 Million.

The bottom line i that the City ended up providing a subsidy it cannot afford to local businesses, and an even greater subsidy to politically connected AEG.

How much has AEG profited from this subsidy?

I agree with Warren. In fact, the city warned everyone to stay away from downtown and they did. Then the city over provided with every kind of service which is what caused the cost to skyrocket.

So, how much of this $4 million will actually end up as tax revenue to the city?

So much for Trutanich's publicity-driven grandstanding about 'huge costs' and 'city resources.' His disrespectful comments about 'wasting a lot of dough' on Michael Jackson's memorial sounded like something out of a script from some badly written character in a gangster movie. And now it turns out this cheap little man can't even count! Los Angeles actually made money on the day of the memorial. What a joke this oaf is? Still, they say you get the city officials you deserve eh?

I can't wait to get to the ballot box.

The amount of money generated by the event is completely irrelevant.

People all over the City paid for this event. A few businesses downtown did $4 million in business. A small percentage of that got paid back to the tax payers in the form of tax.

So what is the point of the article?

All this shows me is that someone in charge was motivated to to justify the expense. They used City staff to generate this report ands then fed it to the media.

Tens of thousands of people were told to avoid downtown that day because of the event chaos.

Did anybody bother to count how much money was lost by businesses downtown other than the hotels and restaurants?

So much for Trutanich's grandstanding about 'huge costs' and 'city resources.' His disrespectful comments about 'wasting a lot of dough' on Michael Jackson's memorial sounded badly written lines from a gangster movie. Now it turns out this cheap little man simply can't count. Los Angeles actually made money on the day of the memorial. The over-policing, the take-outs? Just tactics to inflate ine invoice Trutanich knew would be heading AEG's way. The Jacksons had nothing to do with the memorial logistics, the arrangement was a strict one bewtwwen AEG and City Hall. The Jackson's paid for the Forest Lawn service. The reason AEG questioned Trutanich's accounting is because initially the invoice was $ 6 million, then $3 million.

A hustler by any other name is still a ........


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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