Mayor Michael Beamish of the City of Troy, Ohio, says that he, the city council, and his staff are extremely excited to welcome their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover event featuring Mumford and Sons on August 30th and 31st. Let’s talk to him again on September 1.
Like St Augustine, the concert promoter has sold 25,000 tickets, mostly to people who do not live in the Dayton suburb. Troy, as of the last census, has 25,058 residents. During the same census, the City of St Augustine reported only 12,975 residents.
Mayor Beamish will hold his concert in Troy Memorial Stadium — which, according to the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau, boasts “ample parking, and seating for 10,000 people” — less than half of the ticketed attendees.
But, Troy is not worried. When asked, “Will there be traffic jams?” Troy Main Street reassured residents by saying, “we do not expect significant traffic delays”. The Ohio event will receive concertgoers on a staggered basis and will be assigned parking in off-site locations. Shuttle buses will transport ticketholders to the venue.
Ding, ding, ding! Off-site parking and shuttle buses; they must have read St Augustine’s plans published in Historic City News. You know, the plan introduced by City Manager John Regan and being orchestrated by St Augustine Comptroller Mark Litzinger.
St Augustine’s shuttle plan has also received tentative approval from the St Johns County Tourist Development Council to receive $129,485 for its operation from bed tax funds. Litzinger’s financial projections indicate he expects to sell $150,000 worth of wristbands to offset their match requirement for the TDC grant.
But, even if there is a shortage, no problem — the city officials who negotiated this deal have a $417,000 budget of tax dollars from city reserves at their disposal. One thing that is NOT similar between the two concerts appears to be the negotiation skills of those negotiators. Let me tell you why …
When asked by Troy residents, “Is taxpayer money being used to fund this?” the answer published by Troy Main Street, the counterpart to our Visitor Convention Bureau, is “No”. According to their website, “expenses for the concert are being funded by the concert producers through ticket, merchandise, and refreshment sale revenue.”
Yes, you read that correctly. And, further, to the extent that local governments, the school district, and other organizations in Troy incur costs, Troy Main Street says, “they will be fully reimbursed by the concert producers.”
I guess that’s what happens when you send a professional engineer to do a private businessman’s job.