A Labor Day alternative

Instead of trying to suppress the float, why not have a concert instead?

The author is a Chico businessman with years of experience as an executive music producer.

The best way to solve the Labor Day float problem is to provide a legal and attractive alternative using an asset that is already in place and that provides security and enjoyment at the same time. Just take the Chico State stadium, which banned concerts due to its football program that no longer exists, and provide a very top-draw act that everyone would want to see and schedule it on the same day as the float.

Treat people like adults, as the Nettleton Stadium does, and sell beer to those over 21. Wristbands can be provided at point of sale. Instead of utilizing hundreds of county, city and state authorities costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages and overtime combined, this alternative would decrease DUI arrests and the need for law enforcement.

As an expert in stadium shows, I know that because of the stadium’s being located in the center of Chico, 70 percent of attendees will walk or bike to the venue. Cut beer sales off one hour before the show ends. Utilize tight screening procedures (hand checks, boot and pocket pat-downs for weapons and bottles) prior to entrance. Finally, cut the ticket price to $15 by getting the city and the county to divert funds set aside for policing the Labor Day float and instead subsidize and guarantee the show’s total pricetag of about $225,000.

Then you can begin to offset the total costs through concessions and ticket and sponsorship sales income, thereby decreasing the show’s cost to about zero: 15,000 attendees times $15 = $225,000. The rest is profit that, along with the other sales, can be returned to city and county coffers.

You do the math. Which scenario costs the community, the taxpayers and the environment more to deal with?

For the float, try adding up the law-enforcement overtime that must be paid. Then include the cleanup costs and legal costs to individuals and the courts dealing with the unlucky or just plain dumb people. Then equate in all the possible drownings and river rescues that wouldn’t happen in a stadium.

Four hours sitting in the sun at a concert will tire people out. After the show they’ll all go home or out to eat (there’s that local business income) and mellow out. Just ask the promoter of the Beach Boys show that took place in that very same (sold-out) stadium.