President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign, along with the U.S. Secret Service, will pay for the majority of the Republican’s return visit to Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, according to a fact sheet given to members of the Mobile City Council and released to the media by Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s office.
The city will play host to Trump as one of the transition team’s stops on a nationwide “thank you” tour. It will be Trump’s second visit to Mobile since his campaign kicked off in 2015. The first visit, in August 2015, drew a crowd of several thousand to the stadium.
The city spent more than $16,000 for that first visit and will be “responsible for costs associated with supporting the [Secret Service] and nominal costs to support the overall operation” this time, administration officials wrote.
“All costs will be released as soon as possible after the event,” the statement reads. “This city is committed to be stewards of the public resources.”
Nearly half of the money spent last year, or just over $8,000, went to the rental of 14 buses to transport attendees to the stadium from satellite parking locations. There has been no word yet on the parking situation this time.
Chief of Staff Colby Cooper said the event is slated for 3 p.m. but gates will open at 11 a.m. At a pre-conference meeting, Cooper recommended visitors get there as early as possible.
Overtime for Mobile Police officers last year equaled more than $7,000 and the department will lend a support role to the Secret Service for this visit, according to the fact sheet. That cost will not be reimbursed by the federal government.
“The USSS is a federal agency who has jurisdiction over the president-elect’s safety and security, including traffic movements and the venues he visits,” the sheet reads. “The Mobile Police Department willingly supports this operation based on the capacity and capability knowing that its participation will be only as robust as it can absorb the costs. If a law enforcement agency cannot absorb costs, or has manpower capability issues, the USSS will look for support from other law enforcement agencies.”
The administration defended the benefits of such a visit, according to the fact sheet.
“The visit is an opportunity to showcase Mobile’s spirited, soulful hospitality and rich diversity to our next commander-in-chief, his staff and accompanying media,” the sheet reads. “Mobile has an opportunity to showcase its manufacturing prowess, strategic location as a crossroads of commerce, a second-to-none delta ecosystem, as well as our need for infrastructure support from the federal government via the I-10 bridge.”
Another cost associated with Trump’s first visit was $1,155 spent on 150 King Cakes in jars. The treats were given to out-of-town media members to show off the city’s hospitality, Cooper said at the time.
For tickets to the event, log onto www.donaldjtrump.com. Look up the event on the schedule tab.
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