If TV shows that take place in New York City have taught us anything, it’s that there will always, always be an empty cab ready to take you to your destination the moment you raise a hand and that the night life there is insane. Broadway shows, concerts, bars, clubs, restaurants, parties. You name it, it happens in NYC at night. But who’s keeping track of it all? No one right now, but the city is looking to change that.
In September, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation following in the steps of some European cities, creating an Office of Nightlife. The commission may sound like the legal certification for Batman, but it will actually consist of a “Nightlife Mayor” and 12 appointed Nightlife Advisory Board members. The task force will work with the (day) Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment to oversee, manage daily operations and issue recommendations to night venues. The office was created in response to a number of venues closing last year.
One of the mayoral candidates, Gerard McNamee, told Your Morning that the most important task for the organization will be job creation. He hopes to create 10,000 sustainable jobs in the next 10 years in service, bartending, booking, administration and security. The basic goal: keep the NYC nightlife thriving.
The group will also function as a liaison between the municipal government, the nightlife industry and city residents to coordinate health and safety and share the concerns of business-owners and the community with the government. NYC nightlife is estimated to be a 10 billion dollar industry but the city is looking to expand on that. For comparison, London (which introduced a “night czar” in 2016) reportedly has a night economy of 34 billion.
Mayor de Blasio said that he would appoint the night mayor before the end of 2017, but still has yet to fill the position. McNamee suggested the announcement would likely come this week.
If this experiment works well to bolster the nightlife economy in NYC, we might see similar positions pop up in large Canadian cities in the next few years.