MCALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – According to records that were recently made public due to a new Texas law, the city of McAllen paid singer Enrique Iglesias $485,000 in taxpayer money to perform at a holiday concert in 2015.
Documents obtained by KGBT show the city also paid for the singer’s charter flight from Guadalajara, Mexico, 24 hotel rooms for two nights and an assortment of food for him and his crew.
The contract between the two sides also read that the city would handle the costs for the concert’s sounds, lights, backline and special effects for the one-hour performance.
The city drew backlash for the 2015 event at the McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium after officials kept the terms of the contract concealed despite public information requests from local news outlets.
KGBT reported that officials argued releasing the records would put the city at a competitive disadvantage for other possible negotiations with potential performing artists, especially against other neighboring cities.
However, a new state law that went into effect on Jan. 1 made it so that details of a contract, such as costs, between a private entity or person and a government agency would be made public.
In 2016, KGBT reported that the city lost a total of $771,000 from this holiday event that included a parade. The city said it would hire professional event promoters for the next holiday event.