Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

L.A. City Council considers $30 million loan for Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du SoleilCommunity Development DepartmentDepartment of Housing and Urban DevelopmentHollywood and HighlandLA City Council

Cirque du Soleil, LA City Council, Community Development Department, Hollywood and Highland, Department of Housing and Urban Development The Los Angeles City Council plans to vote Tuesday on a proposal that would bring a new Cirque du Soleil show to the Kodak Theater for a 10-year run, provided that the city agrees to provide a $30-million federal loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The loan program is specifically for projects that promote economic development and job creation. Proponents of the Cirque du Soleil proposal, including the Community Development Department that gave the OK earlier this week, say the show would create more than 900 jobs at the theater and the Hollywood and Highland complex. The report that details a plan for the jobs that will be created is still under wraps, however.

The Cirque du Soleil show is expected to fill 85 percent capacity, as most Cirque shows do across the globe, event though tickets will cost $110 each, and the show will run twice a day. Officials at the CDD say the demand is there and tourists will come to Hollywood just to see the show.

The editorial board is mulling this proposal over, and we'd like to hear your thoughts on it. Click here to find the full report on the loan.

--Catherine Lyons

Credit: AP Photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Jacques Boissinot


Comments () | Archives (14)

The comments to this entry are closed.


All I've heard since they built the Kodal theater was how small it was compared to the Shrine, so not everyone could get into the Oscars, then we heard about how hard it actually is to get into, then we heard about how difficult it is to get any other tenant in there because the Oscars need it for that *one* night a year, every year. Who's idea was it to build this thing, and why didn't they build it right in the first place? Why are the taxpayers being asked to bail out yet another private deal gone wrong?

frank bowers

yeah, and they could give the 900 supposely employees 641.00 and they would be happy. As it is the circus will hire criminal illegal aliens and all lthe money will fly south and California will be out 300 milion dollars. By the Way how many people unemployeed can afford a 110.ticket. O well pie in the sky and skid marks in the drawers of those who make all the claims. If I am not mistaken the circus is from Mexcico. O well they (old mexico and the criminal illegal aliens, will get it all any way. Frank Bowers

Stand Firm

This doesn't make sense in this economy. Let corporate sponsorships paid for this.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Barack Obama, US President (paraphrased)


Why make a loan to a "performing entity" for a 10 year deal with PUBLIC money that Californians have to borrow themselves? This makes no sense to me... Cirque should be paying LA for the privilege of performing in the city.

J Moore

The problem is....the City rarely, if ever gets paid back fully for these loans. Whether it is Chris Hammond and his phony Capital Vision Equities or this silly project.

Why should the City give taxpayer money to large corporations, including the developer of that big hole in the ground known as Hollywood-Highland? Answer - so that the project developers don't have to invest their own money and if project goes bust they are out not one cent and the taxpayers are left holding the bag.

The Times should investigate the CDD and CRA and see what the status of the repayment of all the projects they have funded in the last 20 years.

Kim Mullen

I don't believe that the City Council members have a PROPER understanding of what THEY ARE GETTING THE CITY of LOS ANGELES into right now with an expenditure of this kind simply to offer this FRANCHISE a residence in LOS ANGELES...fronting the money for it.

THIS CITY doesn't have to PAY to bring a dance troupe to residence at this most famous of venues...AND certainly NOT 30 million dollars to Cirque de Soliel. It appears that the understanding of development in LOS ANGELES has not been consulting expert opinions for decade after decade and this is no exception.

The purported 85 percent occupancy report COMES FROM THE COMPANY THAT STANDS TO PROFIT FROM THIS....and that number is likely at least a LAS VEGAS number where shows are typically well sold since these shows are part of the Vegas experience and family shows are more rare there...But HERE Disneyland is the draw in comparison to an expensive circus.

Shows typically actually FAIL in LA. There is a reason for that. If you want to develop Hollywood...Call Mr. Trump about what he might like to offer revitalization here. It's an idea I came up with four years ago. He owns a golf course in Malibu already.

I'm sure it won't be this politically, practically, and potentially ethically.........disasterous.

Charlotte Chamberlain

This is a totally ill-conceived idea. The traffic congestion at Hollywood and Highland is already at a stand-still most of the day already. IF the show creates so many jobs why not put it at the Nokia or Staples where access egress come from freeways and therefore mitigate the nightmare traffic problems that two shows a day would create. The fact that Cirque du Soleil can't get private financing suggests that the economics of the show aren’t predictable putting the taxpayers of LA at risk if the show defaults.

Captain Jack Sparrow

This is what happens when "we" elect stupid people to political positions. Stupid politicians make stupid decisions like this. All the while they are propped up, fed well and travel well on our dime and told they are the most intelligent people in the City. About 30 seconds after they take office, they really start to believe it all. After all, "their world" quickly transforms into "free" City cars and "free" gas, limousines, fancy restaurants paid for by lobbyists 7 days a week if they so wish, travel around the world with their boy toys or girl toys under the guise of "fact finding missions" to "benefit the City," "free" invitations to anything and everything, AND unlimited rounds of applause by lobbyists, City employees and citizens who all want something from the official at that particular moment. Their detachment from reality has evolved.

Then one day, they have a brain fart and say, "Lets have a circus come to Hollywood. People will spend billions to come to Los Angeles just to see our circus. We will generate hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues just like everyone told us would happen for Michael Jackson's Super Freak Memorial Service (we did make hundreds of millions on that right? Get back with me with numbers that show that in case the press asks). We will all be heroes and maybe we can go to Washington? Why isn't that man clapping for me, I have on a new suit. Everyone else is clapping for me, why isn't he clapping for me, I'm ME."

Let them eat cake, they say. 30 million dollars of tax payers money to have a circus. All the while, the City of Los Angeles is forcing their employees to take two unpaid work furlough days a month because of "budget shortfalls." Folks, if you want to see a circus, step right up to the center ring of the Los Angeles City Council Meetings at City Hall on Tuesdays. There my friends, you will see some real clowns. And "we" elected them.



I suggest you ask Ezra Klein, he is an expert on everything. Or maybe you should use the money to invest in a monorail.


$110 each for Cirque du Soleil tickets? That would put a serious damper on ticket sales. Plus, why would visitors come to LA for Cirque du Soleil shows when Las Vegas offers them in a more glamorous and established setting?

Matt M

This is the weakest justification of taxpayer funding I have ever (EVER!) seen. If the "demand is there", they wouldn't need this "loan"!

The city council should just start charging people to come to its daily circus. And sooner or later, the federal government will realize they can't bail everyone out!


The owners of cirque du soil shows make over 30 million a month with the shows world wide and could aforde to do this with out a loan. Why should the city foot the bill and the Cirque take home the profits to a tax free bank acount. The creaters birthday party in Las Vegas cost a million dollars. Thy dont need the money. All there other shows a bank rolled by themselfs and corperate sponsers. if it was such a good deal why wouldn't thy do it themselfs.

Meredith Wright

WHY IS THE L.A. TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZING THIS? If Cirque du Soleil is truly constantly sold out, and the market will bear the ticket prices they set, why can’t they get private capital? Why are we asking taxpayers to subsidize a preferential government loan to support them? WHY????
CONFIDENTIAL TO L.A. CITY COUNCIL: Prepare to be voted out at the next election - you just waste what little money we have left.

Eva Jane Johnston

As a retired teacher from Tennessee, I could not afford the price of the ticket to this show, but I will be paying for other people to see it out of my taxes. And we have come to THIS?



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...