The mayor of San Francisco said today that the Make-A-Wish Foundation's "Batkid" escapade, which captivated the media last week, cost the city more than $100,000--a sum he hopes to make up via contributions from private donors, CBS News reports.
Most of that money went to a sound system and other hardware, rented at the last minute to accommodate unexpectedly-large crowds of onlookers.
"What started out as a few hundred people at most on the steps of City Hall grew into what would obviously attract a 20,000-plus crowd," said Christine Falvey, communications director for Mayor Ed Lee. "They weren't going to see anything the way we originally had it set up."
"Waiting for Miles the BatKid & Wondering how many 1000s of SF kids living off SNAP/FoodStamps could have been fed from the $$," Supervisor Eric Mar wrote on Instagram. He added that while he understood what was going on with young Miles Scott was special, he still wanted to advocate for "similar amounts of love, compassion and empathy for children living every day in dire circumstances."
Miles's day as Batkid included a police escort and an adult Batman impersonator who accompanied him while he rescued a damsel in distress from cable car tracks, captured the Riddler as he robbed a bank and saved the San Francisco Giants mascot from the Penguin.
Falvey noted that vendors had offered discounts or donated services, significantly lowering the cost to the city. The San Francisco chapter of Make-a-Wish will be in charge of managing donations in the hopes of repaying what the city spent.
Neither the police nor public works departments were financially affected, since the Batkid adventure was handled by officers and maintenance workers on their regularly-scheduled shifts, Falvey said.
"It was a very successful event. We were honored to be part of it. Miles gave to us more than we gave to him," said Falvey.