Local/State

No profit guarantee for Philadelphia from 'Made in America'

Friday, August 31, 2012

Preparations continue along the Ben Franklin Parkway for what could be one of the biggest musical events to hit Philadelphia in quite some time.

'Made in America' will bring in performers from Jay Z to Pearl Jam during the Labor Day weekend.

But just how much money will it bring in for Philadelphia once the music stops? It's a huge undertaking with no guaranteed payoff for the city.

"I'm not going to start getting into numbers at this point," said Philadelphia's mayor on Tuesday.

Michael Nutter says we may not know what this concert will cost the city until a month after it's over.

The city has staged huge outdoor concerts on the Parkway for free. But this is a for-profit, ticket-only event.

The promoters could rake in upwards of $10 million or more. Nutter acknowledges it will cost the city.

"There will be some cost sharing between the city and the promoters. We look at this as an opportunity to invest in ourselves," said Nutter.

Nutter says the city should reap the spinoff benefits of the international exposure the concert will bring since it will be streaming live around the world.

People in the Art Museum neighborhood are accustomed to big events. They have mixed reactions to this one that has fenced in a large portion of the Parkway.

"It's been a huge inconvenience," said Jennifer Taft. "I'm a nurse and I have to work this weekend, and I'm really struggling as to how I'm going to get back and forth to work,"

"It does put us on the map I guess on a national level. And hopefully it will bring some revenue, which we really do need here," said Melissa Mather.

Security will be a big issue with 50,000 attendees both days, and who knows how many more trying to get in. The police say they've got it covered.

"There will be a lot of private security working inside the venue," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "We'll have a few officers in there, but not very many. We know there will be some people who come down without tickets. But it should be nothing we can't handle."

And if you don't have a ticket, it won't do you much good to come down here anyway. The fences are strategically placed to prevent anyone on the outside from seeing in.

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philadelphia, music, local/state, david henry
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