What I found most interesting, however, was a small paragraph in the Corey Schouten article:
During the event, the [Super Bowl Host Committee] must maintain a one-mile-wide “clean zone” around Lucas Oil Stadium to prevent any non-NFL-sanctioned marketing activities. And it might temporarily relocate the U.S. Post Office facility across from the stadium.Last time I checked, a mile was 5,280 feet. The mile radius of Lucas Oil Stadium will include almost every business in the downtown area.
When Detroit hosted the Super Bowl in 2006, their "clean zone" was 300 feet. The special event ordinance ran for five weeks from January 2, 2006 through February 10, 2006. It appears from my research that Indianapolis' "clean zone" will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, for a sporting event.
Although these "clean zone" ordinances are sold as a way of preventing the sale of counterfeit NFL merchandise, that argument is bogus. Federal and state law already provides for harsh civil and even criminal penalties for the sale of counterfeit merchandise, including that licensed by the NFL. Rather the "clean zone" restrictions are about the NFL making more money. Let's say you own a restaurant, six blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium and you want to put up a banner inside your establishment welcoming out-of-towners during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. That would be illegal under most "clean ordinances. Instead you have to buy your banner from the NFL or be subject to a several thousand dollar fine.
But the restrictions go beyond even that. Temporary and outdoor signage, that is not of sponsors of the game, is banned by most "clean zones" ordinances. For example, the pizza store down the street where I work sometimes puts a sandwich board sign outside advertising specials. He won't be able to do that before Super Bowl 2012.
Depending how the ordinance is written, the Super Bowl Host Committee can also use the "clean zone" ordinances to force downtown businesses to cough up money if they want to do business during weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. In 2008, San Antonio adopted a "clean zone" ordinance that required businesses to pay $750 for a license in order to do business within the "clean zone" during the 2008 NCAA final four.
Do we know what kind of "Clean Zone" ordinance is required as part of the deal for the 2012 Super Bowl? Nope. The fact is the Super Bowl Host Committee, which disingenuously attempts to operate as a private entity, keeps those kind of details under wraps. What we do know, however, that the "Clean Zone" will be a mile perimeter around Lucas Oil Stadium and affect virtually every business in the immediate downtown area. Because of the impact it will have on virtually every downtown business, it is time that we start demanding that the Host Committee provide specific details about the "Clean Zone."