Grand Park incurs some damage from Made in America

Damage to the popular "splash pad" in Grand Park from the Made in America festival. ZevWeb photo.

The overall financial impact of cramming 70,000 music fans into a park not really designed for big crowds will probably be net positive — counting revenue to the county and city and whatever downtown businesses took in from visitors. But Grand Park's landscaping will look different for many months and the popular "splash pad" fountains needs repairs because of broken tiles. ZevWeb totes up the toll:

Some 10,000 square feet of lantanas, bougainvillea, aloes, drought-tolerant grasses and other greenery—drawn from around the world to reflect the diversity of L.A.—will have to be pulled out and replaced in the aftermath of the two-day concert. In the section of the park closest to the main stage in front of City Hall, more than 1,500 separate plants, many of which had been growing into maturity for nearly two years, must be replaced.

“The trees weren’t too damaged, but a lot of the plants in the planters were completely smashed and broken,” said Sergio Hernandez, manager at ValleyCrest Cos., the Calabasas-based landscaping contractor that maintains the 12-acre park for the county. “It almost looked like people were standing on some of the shrubs.”

The botanical casualties were estimated by ValleyCrest at about $50,000 park-wide. Hernandez said the new plants will probably take until next spring to reach the same size as they were before concertgoers arrived.

Live Nation, the concert promoter, is contractually obligated to cover the costs of the landscaping and other damage, including the replacement of six thick tiles in the popular Arthur J. Memorial fountain splash pad, which were broken during the construction and tear-down of a stage.

Despite the damage, the event—curated by rapper Jay Z and headlined by such international names as Kanye West, John Mayer and Steve Aoki—won wide praise from its many boosters, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Among other things, it generated some $600,000 in fees for the county and $500,000 for the city, while showcasing Grand Park as a potential rival to the Coliseum, the Rose Bowl and other signature Southern California gathering spaces.

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