It’s a good question.
Let’s start with money paid by Shreveport. Like Bossier City, Bossier Parish and Caddo Parish, the city paid a $50,000 sponsorship.
The city also paid a total $94,329 in overtime wages.
The breakdown is $81,556 for Shreveport police, $3,530 for Shreveport fire department and $9,242 to SPORTRAN. These amounts do not include charges for gas and maintenance on any city owned vehicles utilized by SPD, SFD or Sportran.
So that puts city dollars at $144,000.
For comparison purposes Bossier City spent $636 for police overtime and Caddo Sheriff deputies were paid $322 for overtime services.
Stacy Brown, the executive director of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, estimates that pageant generated the following in revenues to both Shreveport and Bossier: $530,000 for hotel rooms; $600,000 for meals; $200,000 for retail shopping; and $160,000 for entertainment.
This total estimate is less than $1.49 million dollars.
The contestants stayed at the Margaritaville Hotel and Casino. Many of the activities for these pageant crowd were held in Bossier City, including shopping trips to The Boardwalk.
The sales tax rate in Shreveport is 9.6%. Of this amount 2.75% is remitted to the city. If ALL the meals, shopping and entertainment dollars were spent in Shreveport (computed from $960,000), the city would have received $26,400 in sales tax revenue.
The hotel motel tax breakdown is .75% for Shreveport. Assuming all the hotel rooms were booked in Shreveport , the hotel revenues ($530,000), would be $3,975 thousand dollars.
So let’s do the math. The city invested $144,000 in pageant sponsorship and expenses. The maximum dollars the city would have received, if all of the estimated pageant expenses where made in Shreveport, is $30,375.
If 60% of these moneys were spent in Shreveport, the total tax revenue for the City would be $23,625. If 70% of these expenses occurred in Shreveport, the city’s tax revenue would be $27,562.
The Miss Universe pageant also had expenses; these have yet to be reported. However, estimates for hotel rooms and meals include the Miss Universe staff and crew.
The actual expenses for hotel rooms , receipts, retail shopping, entertainment expenses may be low. If the estimates are raised to $2 million, the bottom line numbers do not change that much.
It is apparent that Shreveport did not recoup the $50,000 sponsorship fee, much less the overtime expenses.
The average Joe and Judy in Shreveport did not give a tinkers damn about the pageants. And they did not bother to watch the televised events that many believe are degrading to women.
But Joe and Judy are concerned about crime in Shreveport.
They wonder what the impact would have been if the $81,556 grand had been spent on extra police patrols, more police investigations of crimes and public safety in general.
Those that follow the Shreveport City Council wonder why the obvious question was not asked when Brown was pitching the platitudes of the pageants when seeking the $50,000 sponsorship. If the pageants were such a great economic boom to Phoenix (Miss Teen USA) and (Miss USA) in Vegas in 2017, why did the pageants come running to Shreveport at virtually the last minute—less than 2 months before the events.
Once the Miss USA numbers are in, there will be some additional tax income to Shreveport. However there is no way these numbers can drive the revenue up to sponsorship fee, much less the overtime wages.
It’s time, no past time, for Shreveport city officials to focus on the city’s needs, not civic wants. Hopefully, a thank you but no thanks will be extended to the pageants in 2019.