SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 7, 2013

Cost of 'Idol' visit to Beverly adding up

BEVERLY — The final tally is in. Not for the “American Idol” voting, but for the cost to the city of hosting Angie Miller’s hometown visit.

The city spent $31,200 on security, cleanup and other costs associated with Saturday’s events, Mayor Bill Scanlon said yesterday.

The biggest expense was police overtime, which amounted to $12,700. Other costs included overtime for Department of Public Services workers ($4,800), firefighters ($2,300) and school custodians ($1,200) and the cost of renting sound equipment ($4,200), the outdoor stage ($3,500) and portable toilets ($2,500).

Some of the costs will be offset by donations of $5,000 each from Eastern Bank and Endicott College, Scanlon said. Many people also donated their time to plan the events and help out throughout the day, he said.

As for the cost to the city, Scanlon said, “It’s kind of our national advertising for the year.”

Footage of Miller’s visit shot by Fox TV will be shown on tomorrow’s “American Idol,” a show that attracts about 12 million viewers.

“It’s national publicity for the city,” Scanlon said. “When you think of what people pay to advertise on the Super Bowl, this is kind of our opportunity at that.”

Scanlon said “American Idol” did not help pay for the hometown visit.

Well-behaved crowd

Despite the huge crowds, police Chief Mark Ray said there were “no problems whatsoever.”

“It was a terrific crowd, very family-oriented,” he said. “Everybody was there for fun.”

Ray said police had to plan for crowds of anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000. A total of 23 police officers were on duty providing security and traffic control.

Ray estimated the crowd at around 15,000. By comparison, Candice Glover drew about 10,000 for her hometown visit in Beaufort, S.C., according to the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Kree Harrison drew “thousands” in her hometown of Beaumont, Texas, according to TV station KTRE.

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