City businesses being asked to help cover Wallenda costs

From the Niagara Falls Review:

Businesses in Niagara Falls are being asked to help foot the bill for Nik Wallenda’s wirewalk.

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati confirmed Friday he has asked the “bigger” business improvement areas in the city to donate money toward Wallenda’s tightrope walk across the Niagara Gorge June 15.

Wallenda, who will become the first person to ever perform the stunt, has said the cost of the event has turned out to be more than $1.2 million — $200,000 higher than he was first expecting.

Last week, the 33-year-old American performer set up a fundraising page on, with the goal of raising $50,000. As of Friday afternoon, he had raised just over $7,000.

But after Wallenda criticized some of the businesses in Niagara Falls for profiting off his walk without paying him anything, Diodati approached the city’s BIAs, which are organizations funded by businesses in specific geographic areas of the city.

The mayor said the city has a committee working on the project and this was one of the ideas suggested.

“We are strategizing on ways to raise money for this event. The money is geared to go toward expenses of putting on the event.”

The BIAs have been asked to come up with $25,000 each and the overall goal is to raise about $250,000.

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