Los Angeles

Jay Z's Made in America Festival Brought LA Almost $15M: Report

The Made in America festival held in downtown Los Angeles over Labor Day Weekend brought the city $14.7 million in local spending, according to an economic analysis of the brand-new festival prepared for the city.

Millions of dollars spent by visitors and concert producers on the Kanye West-headlined festival seem to validate Mayor Eric Garcetti's claims that the city would benefit from holding the concert on public land in the heart of LA

The festival held in Grand Park, near City Hall, "will inject millions of dollars into the LA economy," Garcetti said when he announced the festival in April.

City Council requested the report, which comes with some caveats, at a time when some in the city questioned the value the concert would bring. Some critics argued that the city itself would lose money from Made in America, money better spent on broken streets or aging sewer pipes.

Garcetti's aides said in November that the $500,000 festival promoter Live Nation agreed to pay the city would not cover the costs of the festival, leading to a likely $170,000 expense for LA.

But the city report factors in hundreds of thousands of dollars in local tax revenue generated by visitors spending money in and around the concert, concluding that the city actually earned about $31,000 from the show.

"We achieved our goals to boost our local economy, provide attractions for our residents and visitors to enjoy," Mayor Garcetti said in a statement.

The report said that those visitors -- about 35,000 people came to each of the festival's two days -- generally had a positive effect on business near Grand Park, based on a survey of the businesses.

"100 percent of respondents indicated that holding subsequent events of this magnitude in Grand Park is a good idea," the report said.

Aides to Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents downtown Los Angeles and was critical of the concert, didn't  respond to requests for comment on the report, which comes with some important caveats.

The consultants who prepared it were unable to get detailed information from Live Nation, only speaking with representatives in a brief phone call, so much of the analysis is based on secondary sources, the report said.

But it was received favorably by City Council President Herb Wesson, perhaps the leader in the best position to prevent Made in America from returning to Grant Park next year.

"Ultimately the city's economy grew and so did our city budget," he said in a statement. "Let's do it again."

The report was posted to a city website on Friday and sent to a City Council committee for review.

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