SBD/Issue 128/Events & Attractions

San Antonio Enacts "Clean Zone" For Sponsors Ahead Of Final Four

 
San Antonio has designated several blocks near the Alamodome as a "Clean Zone"  to keep "T-shirt hawkers from jamming up crowded sidewalks and to keep uninvited advertisers out of the fan-rich arena area" during the NCAA Division I men's Final Four, according to William Pack of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. San Antonio Local Organizing Committee Associate Exec Dir Elena Stout, whose organization is sponsoring the Final Four, said, "The Clean Zone has to do mainly with where merchandise is sold. We want it off the public right of way as much as we can." Pack notes NCAA sponsors "pay heavily for the right to have their names associated with the spectacle, and they don't want other advertisers to dilute the marketing opportunity." The Clean Zone ordinance states that "temporary signs or promotional activities ... are prohibited without the local organizing committee's endorsement and a Clean Zone license from the city." Violators of the ordinance "can have their merchandise impounded and can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor offense carrying fines of up to $2,000." Promotional activities by sponsor companies will be allowed inside the Clean Zone, "as long as they don't jam up streets and sidewalks." But Pack notes sponsors "probably will focus their promotions in the area of the Big Dance, a four-day street fair." San Antonio Police Lt. Mike Gorham said that the ordinance "appears to be serving its purpose because few roaming merchandise vendors have popped up during past NCAA events" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/26).

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