Inglewood Mayor James Butts will have some tough decisions to make with the announcement of both a delay in opening the $5 billion SoFi Stadium and cancellation of Taylor Swift concerts scheduled for July.
Swift’s concerts were designed to kickoff the stadium opening July 25 and 26 but ticket holders will be provided refund instructions from Ticketmaster.
Butts estimates a revenue shortfall of between $20 million to $30 million due to the impact of the coronavirus and event cancellations at the multi-billion dollar stadium.
Inglewood has seen a steady stream of new cases since March. As of April 17 the city has 145 confirmed cases with several coming from local long term health facilities. The Forum is now a testing site where residents can drive up and be tested from the comfort of their car.
Any costs related to COVID-19 are reimbursed by the federal grant, which includes police.
Inglewood stands to lose revenue from taxes generated from: admission tickets, parking and ancillary services.
According to Butts the city has $54 million in reserves that could be tapped into if needed.
“We were prepared for this rainy day, so as a result we won’t be doing layoffs that a number of cities will have to consider,” Butts said. “Right now, we’re waiting to see what the long-term impacts are.”
Despite Inglewood City Hall’s closure until April 27, the city clerk’s office has released the city council agenda for April 21.
The agenda includes three closed session items related to litigation and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees on the warrant register.
There has been no public announcement of the cancellation of the city’s annual Earth Day Jazz Fest that was due to take place today, although several vendors have received payment for services on previous council agendas.
City Manager Artie Fields has been noticeably absent during this pandemic. Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole abruptly resigned April 17 as he announced days prior that the city would be offering employees buyouts to ease their shortfall.
With Inglewood’s projected shortfall, the city will need to stop spending as usual and Fields would need to demand his signature stopped being forged on crucial staff reports which authorize said spending.