Michael Jackson memorial cost L.A. $1.4 million

Los Angeles officials say Tuesday's memorial service for Michael Jackson cost the city $1.4 million to cover security, traffic control, and other services, according to the Associated Press. The figure includes $1.1 million in overtime pay for the 4,173 police officers securing the Staples Center, Forest Lawn cemetery, and other areas that attracted fans and media, the Police Department said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa lauded the final cost, saying it was "far less" than the initial estimate of $4 million. City attorney Carmen Trutanich said his office is looking into ways to legally require third parties to pick up some of the tab. The City of Los Angeles has also set up a Web page asking citizens to contribute money to help defray the costs. So far, fans have donated $17,000 through the site, but the effort has been hampered by heavy Web traffic that crashed the servers Tuesday night and several times Wednesday, according to the mayor's office.

Talk about it on PopWatch: Will you pony up for Michael Jackson's memorial service?


Comments (148 total) Add your comment
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  • Elizabeth

    The estate and/or family should have to pick up some, if not all of the costs.

  • Johnny Canuck

    Outrageous to ask the Average citizen to pay for this stuff. Joe 6-Pack is paying for Wall St., Banks, etc. They have their bloody nerve asking for donations. Go ask the family and other luminaries and MJ hangers-on for money. Ask the doctors/pushers who made big bucks ignoring their ethics and supplying him. Ask the liars and opportunists who hit the motherlode when their kid was invited to play at Neverland. The Average person just enjoyed his music – leave them alone.

  • Steve Marks

    Michael Jackson had great God-given talent and his talent was a gift to the world. It was unfortunate that he eventually became so self centered and child focused. He could have used his fame for much good. He’s an inappropriate hero for our children and we’re giving him too much attention.

  • The Eskimo

    People, please don’t be stupid. The city made many more millions in tax revenue from all the out of town tourists who came for this. L.A. should wish for an event like this everyday, and maybe it would be out of debt. You should be thanking the Jacksons for having this event publicly, rather that griping that they need to pay back the city for the police protection.

  • Steve Marks

    Michael Jackson had great God-given talent and his talent was a gift to the world. It was unfortunate that he eventually became so self centered and child focused. He could have used his fame for much good. He’s an inappropriate hero for our children and we’re giving him too much attention.

  • bshgdb

    How much did the city make off of all the people who came in from out of town and spent money on hotels and restraunts. I think the memorial is giving the city a reason to ask for money.

  • James Bond

    They are just using Michael Jackson for money.
    Greed.

  • tij

    Los Angeles got the BIGGEST FREE MARKETING in the world worth millions of dollars. The whole world knows about Los Angeles and LAPD now. What we saw on TV was perfect – no gangs, no violence, no dilapidated streets, no crazies. Just a very nice upscale place with classy attendees. A well-planned and controlled event. That’s what the world saw and they all said, “Congratulations, Los Angeles and LAPD for a job well done.”
    Now they are all fighting for money? In a city like this BIG, expect HUGE events ALL THE TIME. And when you have big events, it is NOT a burden, it is MONEY FOR THE CITY like Las Vegas. Money pouring in. The problem is why the city has NOT figured out how to get their share of the money for the BIG EVENTS like these.
    In the future, the city should charge the host of the event an EVENT tax fee based on the number of attendees. Per 1000 attendees, the city will charge a certain amount to the host of the event to protect the attendees.

  • James Bond

    The city just used MJ for money.

  • James Bond

    Greed.

  • Cheryl

    I would be furious if I lived in L.A. At the same time they are having memorials, they are cutting back on police and fire protection for their citizens because they have no money. The money spent by visitors will not pay for police protection. Give me a share of the money spent rather than an I.O.U.

  • James Bond

    I love MJ……NOT

  • tij

    n the future, the city should charge the host of the event an EVENT tax fee based on the number of attendees. Per 1000 attendees, the city will charge a certain amount to the host of the event to protect the attendees. Perhaps, as the number goes up, rate goes up based on the total number of attendees.
    Example:
    For a total of 1000 attendees, the event tax rate of $1,000 per 1000 attendees.
    For a total of 5000 attendees, the event tax rate of $2,500 per 1000 attendees.
    For a total of 10,000 attendees, the event tax rate of $5,000 per 1000 attendees.
    For a total of 15,00 attendees, the event tax rate of $7,500 per 1000 attendees.
    you get the picture. Add a city-based hotel tax that the customers will pay. The possibilities are endless for the city to get their share of the pie. Don’t be greedy, though. Pretty soon, LOS ANGELES will be a place for HUGE EVENTS every week and every single person in Los Angeles will have a JOB.
    Don’t fight. Solve the problem.

  • tij

    But the amount of money spent by the city is highly questionable though. First it was estimated to be $4 million for a 3-8 hour day. Then it was down to $3 million cost. And now $1.4 million. So for the 50,000 people that the LAPD had to protect, it cost $28 per person to protect that person from harm in Los Angeles for the 3-5 hour period that they were there. That is pretty high. If there were 1000 officers deployed, it cost the city about $175 per hour per officer. That is pretty high again. Where are all these money going? Where were all these officers working? Where were most of the LAPD deployed and assigned??? Just standing around doing nothing waiting for the time to tick away so they earn their OVERTIME pay? Really, the cost has to be investigated because it is excessive for a 19,500 attendee event and even for a 50,000 people event. If anything, some employee in the city is getting rich with the $1.4 – $4 million cost for protecting about 50,000 people from each other.

  • Bubba says MJ is dead

    The Jackson family should pay the fukking thing. They are easiy worth hundreds of millions. Why can’t those cheap b@stards fork over the cash themselves and stop making the city worry about it? 1.4 million is pocket change to them. Sure wish I had that problem.

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