Wonderland Producer Touts Economic Clout

Insomniac productions, whose Saturday night concert irritated residents in Alameda, San Leandro and Oakland, says a festival in Las Vegas produced millions. A case of follow the money?

As residents of Alameda and San Leandro wonder what possessed the authorities who allowed the weekend concert that prompted hundreds of noise complaints, the answer may be simple: follow the money.

Insomniac, which staged Saturday night's Beyond Wonderland concert at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Tuesday released an economic analysis of the impact of a three-day carnival that it held in June in Las Vegas.

That analysis said the event "pumped an estimated $207 million into the Clark County economy" and "created an estimated $13.1 million in tax revenue for state and local government."

The Coliseum concert was a far, far smaller affair and would not bring in anything approaching that revenue.

But Insomiac touted its economic clout Tuesday in the face of adverse reaction to the concert and to the legal issues facing its leader, Pasquale Rotella. 

Officials from the city of Oakland and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority have issued a joint apology for the noisy event.

But Ignacio DeLaFuente, chair of the Oakland-Alameda Co. Coliseum Authority, said in a recent radio interview with KCBS that the manager of the Coliseum, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), has a free hand in managing the site and doesn't answer to the board.

AEG got the Coliseum new management contract on a 7-1 vote in June.

According to a San Francisco Business Times article in the wake of that vote, Alameda County Supervisor and Coliseum Authority board member Scott Haggerty is quoted as saying: “I see facilities that are actually making money and I ask myself, ‘Why can’t that be us?’”

Meanwhile, AEG, a behemoth in sports and live entertainment, is reportedly up for sale for $5 billion to $7 billion.

Tom Abate is the editor of San Leandro Patch.

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geordie October 02, 2012 at 10:40 PM
If they can do it inside the Oakland, Alameda County, Alameda City and San Leandro noise limits then we'll never hear them anyway. But my hearing is worth more than any nebulous tax benefit that I will never see. The OSHA limit for continuous exposure is 70 dB and they were inflicting 100 dB on Bay Farm Island. Alameda County noise ordinance says that's equivalent to a pile driver at 100 feet. Sounds about right. According to the Alameda County noise ordinance, after 10pm no long term sound level above 60 dB is acceptable and 80 dB is only acceptable for 1 minute. We had 100 dB for eight hours. It doesn't help their case that the event organizer was smug and self satisfied and appeared to think there was nothing he should have done different or that we can do about it.
Eden Keywise October 03, 2012 at 05:56 AM
I don't care if they're the Queen of England, they're not going to force bass on people in their homes that is so loud people can't function. Make no mistake - THESE neighborhoods will not put up with it.
J Dickens October 03, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I have no doubt this wont happen again, they broke the law, plain and simple!!!
C. Bell October 03, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Hopefully our residents affected by the noise level won't be sacrificed for the sake of the almighty bottom line. Again, take this event to the desert.....Nevada really needs this revenue!
10dB October 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Huh, AEG, hired by the Coliseum Authority to manage the coliseum "has a free hand in managing it and does not answer to the Authority" Who the hell DO they answer to? And who gave them a contract that leaves the Authority with no power over them?
Karen Strachan October 04, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I couldn't have said it better myself! Everyone has a BOSS who they have to answer to--even if they are self-employed or retired. Why would the coliseum authority allow their power to be taken away. It still sounds like people were paid off. Maybe the Feds should step in to oversee Oakland. It looks like they can't control themselves and give their power to others while they still have 4 figure incomes. Talk about convenient, when in trouble pass the buck but take all glory when it suits them. And you wonder why Oakland continues to make the news!!!!!
misterthreesix October 05, 2012 at 07:44 AM
there is now way it was 100 db miles away. did you have a db meter out that night?
geordie October 05, 2012 at 07:56 AM
I have the plots from the Oakland airport noise monitors 5 and 15 and someone else has one on their house. The plots I have show 97 and 98 db, they have the instrument themselves and saw 100 db through the whole eight hours. In any case the Alameda county day time limit for short duration noise from businesses is 80 db and they said themselves that they were running 123 db. The sound was directional and aimed at us. A recent engine test hit around 80 db and this was way louder than that, so subjectively and objectively the noise was way over the limit.
Tom Brody October 14, 2012 at 02:19 PM
This is about the so-called "economic benefit" of the concert to the local economy. It is NOT the case that the concert benefits the local economy. The concert only detracts from the local economy. First of all, the concert does NOT generate anything of value. In other words, there is NOTHING about the concert that has any leverage at improving the local economy. Once the event or music has been performed, it is vanished and gone. There are no new jobs created. There are no new manufacturing facilities. There are not any new research facilities. There are NOT any new revenue-generating entities. All that exists is the transfer of money from local residents, into the pockets of hot dog salesmen at the concert facility, into the pockets of the parking attendants at the concert facility, into the pockets of the security guards at the concert facility (there is nothing wrong with these things, I am just pointing out that the concert merely results in a shift of pockets where the money is sitting). Also, the concert has a net negative economic effect on the local economy. Some of the money is removed from the local economy, because it goes into the pockets of the performing artists and their managers. Also, some of the money is removed from the local economy, because it disappears in the form of collected taxes. To repeat, the transfer of money from local residents into the pockets of other local residents who work at the event has ZERO economic value.


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