Philly’s World Meeting costs of $12 million to be repaid by event organizers

The Philadelphia skyline as seen from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. (NewsWorks file photo)

The Philadelphia skyline as seen from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. (NewsWorks file photo)

As the World Meeting of Families official commences  in Philadelphia, the city estimates it will spend about $12 million for hosting on the international event. Those expenditures will be reimbursed by organizers of the Vatican-sponsored gathering. 

The contract between the city and World Meeting of Families stipulates the organization must pick up costs Philadelphia incurs during the event.  And Mayor Michael Nuter’s chief of staff Everett Gillison said the estimates are somewhat padded.

“World Meeting of Families knows that this is all an estimate, it can go higher or lower.  We’re pretty conservative … most of the times we always overshoot,” Gillison said Tuesday. “I will anticipate … we will come in under what we have anticipated.”

No matter what, Gillison said, the city won’t be saddled with the costs of putting on the massive event, with a crowd of more than a million on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway expected for Sunday Mass.

“World Meeting of Families is responsible under the contract,” Gillison said.

The city, however, will absorbs the costs of lost productivity due to closing for three days because of the event.  Officials are working on just how much that will cost.

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