Councilman Warns Of ‘Major Disruption’ Over Proposed Jay-Z Concert
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A City Council member wants to hit the brakes on a proposed concert that some fear could create a traffic nightmare in Downtown Los Angeles.
KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports City Councilman Jose Huizar wants to block permits for the Budweiser Made In America tour until he can get more details about the proposed two-day event over Labor Day weekend.
The concert, featuring Jay-Z and more than two dozen other artists, at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles would require sidewalk, partial- and full-street closures on Main, Spring, and Hill streets in addition to Grand Avenue, Broadway and other streets, with some closures lasting for up to 10 days, according to Huizar.
Huizar introduced a motion on March 28 (PDF) to temporarily block the issuance of any permits for the event, which he said could create “major disruption concerns for workers, residents and businesses” in the Civic Center area and “will require the resources of many City personnel, especially police.”
“When we’re talking about bringing 50,000 people to Downtown Los Angeles and closing streets, potentially for 10 days, that’s really going to be a nightmare,” Huizar told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Dave Lopez. “The problem we have right now is that when I ask questions…nobody seems to know what’s going on.”
Garcetti didn’t want to discuss details with Lopez on Wednesday but said he sees no reason for controversy over this.
“To have someone of Jay-Z’s reputation and importance, this is going to be great for the county and the city,” Garcetti said. “I’m sure we’ll have the support of everybody, including local representatives, and we’ll include them in the planning.”
Huizar stresses that he’s not against the concert, he just wants to know more about the mayor’s plans so he can inform his constituents.
“You don’t fear that the mayor is going to railroad this thing through and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do it, this is it’?” Lopez asked Huizar.
“Well, we don’t know. We don’t know what the mayor’s office will do. We have reached. We’ll have some discussions in the near future,” the councilman said.
The mayor doesn’t need the City Council’s approval to hold the concert, but Garcetti’s office says he still plans on reaching out to members before making a decision.
“Right now, it’s in the very early stages and these are very delicate negotiations. We want to make sure that a potential event comes to Los Angeles and makes Los Angeles money. We want to do this right,” said Yusef Robb, a spokesman for the mayor’s office.
Police have already raised concerns about potentially massive crowds and a lack of parking in the area, but LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said “our job now is to make sure that it is done as safely as possible.”
Downtown’s Grand Park, which is run jointly by both city and county officials under the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority, hosted an estimated 25,000 revelers for a New Year’s Eve celebration, but no major problems were reported.