Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lakers Parade

Jen: We've been pretty lax about discussing issues lately, and have gone product crazy on Beachy Keen. Let's bring it back to the debate floor for a post!

California just spent 2 million+ on the Lakers victory parade, and now Californians are angry because our state is in dire straights. They don't feel that our money should have been spent on a parade.

I'll hold off on my opinion and let you go first! What do you think?

Crystal: Well first off....I was a bit annoyed with the whole situation intially....but then I heard on the news that the Lakers were putting up half of the cost ($1m approx) and then there were a couple of private donors who donated a total of around $800K or so....I'm sure I don't have the numbers exact, but it was around there....

So in the end, the city still had to put up some money, but not as much as originally initially I'm thinking - well that's still ridiculous. We can't pay teachers but we can put up money for a parade....

BUT - then you think of what the money is going to....we're not just putting up a couple hundred thousand dollars so that we can give Kobe some extra pocket's going towards the police force, vendors for decorations, the port-a-potty vendors (lol), trash pick-up people, etc. It's still going towards our local and/or national businesses and's keeping several people in work, it's paying our police officers overtime, it's stimulating our economy.

On top of that - it's bringing hundreds of thousands of people (aka customers) to the coliseum area where they will inevitably eat, buy souveniers, pay for parking, go shopping, etc.

This is a huge city stimulus that both gets money rotating in the economy AND raises morale in the city (minus the rioting and looting) in the end, yes - the teachers are losing out because what are they gaining? But there are many other people in our community that are actually benefiting from the government's spending which in the end doesn't turn out to be that much.

Your thoughts Jen?
Our readers thoughts?

Oh - and I wanted to add - I think there were like 90,000 people at the coliseum or something like that....if they would have just charged $5.00 to get in - I'm sure people would have paid the 5 bucks as it's not much, and the city could have made $450K!!! Uhmmm, this event would have paid for itself!!

Jen: Excellent point on revenue that the event itself brought in. I hadn't thought of that aspect, as I was focused on what the team brings to our community year round. At first, I was quick to jump on the "pissy" bandwagon because my mind couldn't wrap itself around spending that amount of money on a party while our state is struggling. My question was "why isn't the NBA paying for it's winning team to celebrate?" Shouldn't that fall under the umbrella of their responsibilities?

A minute or so later I allowed myself to backtrack because it dawned on me that the Lakers as a whole bring our city and state an incredible amount of money with ticket sales which are taxed, as well as all the merchandise sales which are taxed, not to mention the tourism that they generate.

Think of the hotels and restaurants that profit off of tourists, the airlines, etc. And look at the training facility that they use in El Segundo, and the Staples Center ... lots of jobs generated from there.

So if this team creates opportunity for our local businesses and citizens, then is it really so bad that we support/praise this commodity??

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