Rolling Subsidies

Two Canadian cities are coughing up big bucks to help bring The Rolling Stones to town.

The band’s September 23rd stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will be financed in part by a $100,000 contribution from the Halifax Regional Municipality. The money will pay for security, emergency services and cleanup at the concert site, according to The Chronicle Herald newspaper.

The city of Regina and the government of Saskatchewan will chip in $300,000 for the October 8th tour stop, in addition to $500,000 in sponsorships from government-run corporations including SaskTel and the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, CBC News reported.

The public money is earmarked for paving and other improvements to Regina’s Mosaic Stadium, where the Stones will perform, as well as security and transit costs. Officials expect to recoup about half of the $300,000 from a percentage of gate receipts.

Government officials in both cities characterized their contributions as sound investments, given the economic benefits and publicity the Stones will generate. Halifax officials expect between $10 million and $20 million in revenue for local businesses, according to The Chronicle Herald.

Fans snapped up more than 35,000 tickets on the first day of sales for the Halifax show August 1st, the city’s Daily News reported.

The city of Moncton, New Brunswick, went $670,000 over budget for a Stones concert last year that attracted more than 80,000 fans. Officials said they underestimated the crowd size and costs of upgrades, medical care and security. The concert ultimately cost the city $1.2 million.

The band’s A Bigger Bang tour has been under way since last August, with the second North American leg set to launch September 20th in Boston. The trek landed at No. 2 on Pollstar‘s 2006 Mid-Year Top 50 Tours, surpassed only by Madonna.