SANTA FE, N.M.—“The Bachelor” is one of television’s highest-rated shows. But for taxpayers such as Jill Meyer, the decision by the Santa Fe City Council to commit between $50,000 and $100,000 to try to lure the show to the state capital is worthy of two thumbs “way down.”
“This is so stupid,” Meyer said. “We have so many other needs in Santa Fe.”
There also are other needs elsewhere in New Mexico, but the state wants in on “The Bachelor” action as well.
The New Mexico Tourism Department is considering spending $50,000 of its own money to try to bring production of the show, which features one bachelor choosing a potential wife from a pool of 25 women, to Santa Fe.
There have been reports the Tourism Department already has committed to the project, but communications director Rebecca Latham said no final decision has been made.
“It’s still being discussed,” Latham said. “There’s a huge potential for national media exposure.”
Last week, the city council voted 5 to 4 to approve a request from the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau to commit at least $50,000 and potentially spend another $50,000 to negotiate with the show’s producers, in the hopes of bringing the show to Santa Fe for one season.
Supporters point to the show’s high ratings (14.3 million viewers) as a chance to market New Mexico’s capital city to a worldwide audience.
“I don’t know that there’s anywhere else that we could ever spend $50,000 to get 14.3 million people to look at Santa Fe for an hour,” Mayor Javier Gonzales, who voted for the expenditure, told the Santa Fe New Mexican.