LOS ANGELES (AP) — Private donors have agreed to cover nearly $1 million in taxpayer costs for a victory
parade honoring the NBA-champion Los Angeles Lakers, an aide to the City Council president said Tuesday.
That could defuse a controversy over funding of the festivities by the cash-strapped city.
The costs for policing, traffic control and other services for Wednesday’s parade were still being
calculated but they were expected to run a bit under $1 million, said Julie Wong, an aide to council
President Eric Garcetti.
"There are donors who are making contributions that will, in the aggregate, cover the expected costs
of the parade," Wong said.
She didn’t have the names of the donors but they were expected to be released at an afternoon news
The prospect of public spending on the parade provoked harsh criticism by employee unions at a time when
Los Angeles is contemplating layoffs to close a more than $500 million budget gap.
Appeals for private funding were made by the mayor and other city officials, the Lakers and the head of
the company that owns the team’s home court.
The Lakers and AEG, which owns the Staples Center arena, earlier had agreed to cover another $1 million
The head of the city’s police union said Tuesday that he was pleased no city funding would be used.
"At a time of financial crisis, when employees are being furloughed and services are being reduced
or eliminated, it’s good to see our city leaders being accountable to the public," Los Angeles
Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber said in a statement. "By securing private funding
for the celebration, they have shown that they know how to set the right priorities — while still
celebrating the Lakers’ outstanding achievement — in these tough economic times."
A motion introduced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting calls for discussion of the city’s actual parade
costs at a meeting next week.