Frey: Trump rally cost city $542,733, over $12,000 more than estimate

Frey vows to continue to try to recoup money

Sloane Martin
November 26, 2019 - 4:50 pm
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey revealed Tuesday that President Donald Trump's campaign rally at Target Center last month cost the city more than originally estimated.

The city estimated the total costs for public safety, third-party barriers, lane closures and traffic control would run a tab of $530,000. Frey and city leaders say the final tally is around $12,000 more: $542,733.

City of Minneapolis
City of Minneapolis

Frey says the city has a good relationship with the Target Center operator, AEG, but nothing's off the table, including legal action, to try and recoup the money. He's starting a conversation around possible legislation, even at the federal level, to address future events.

"These visits can be expensive," he said. "They can be burdensome, and when cities are forced to bear the burden of every social injustice, every crisis, every significant issue that's coming down the pipe, why should they also have to bear the burden for costs associated with a campaign rally? That just doesn't make sense to me."

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The city gets reimbursed through AEG, not the event holders renting Target Center. 

The first term mayor was criticized for going after a Republican's event. Frey said Tuesday his statement stands for all politicians and all events. Frey was outspoken early and often leading up to the rally. He drew the ire of the President on twitter, who referred to Frey a "lightweight."

The costs for Trump's rallies vary: El Paso, Texas drew a bill of more than $470,000 earlier this year; one in Erie, Penn., last October was over $35,000.

Frey said other mayors have reached out to him.

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"In a time when cities are the laboratories of democracy, and in a time when all the difficult and controversial issues and all of the costs just gets pushed under the rug, who ends up being under the rug are cities and municipalities and we're forced to deal with these difficult issues and this is one that I think other entities including the Trump campaign including the Secret Service, including contractual partners, they should have to step up and help," he said.

The University of Minnesota, meanwhile, has said it is seeking reimbursement from the Bernie Sanders campaign after a rally this month. The university handled security costs estimated overall at $40,000.

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