Businesses confused by Super Bowl 'clean zones'

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 11:37 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 29 at 2:26 AM

DALLAS - Throughout the weekend, Dallas code enforcement officers will be patrolling "clean zones," which are areas near Super Bowl events approved by the NFL.

In the West End, restaurant and bar owners gearing up for Super Bowl festivities learned that first-hand on Friday.
   
"We are so excited about the Super Bowl being here," said Bob Allen, owner of the West End Pub.
   
Allen put up several Bud Light signs and banners around his business, but code enforcement officers told him to take them down.  

"We took down banners that were outside of the building," he said.

Allen was told he violated the "clean zone" --  areas created by the NFL and cities to crack down on several issues, including sidewalk vendors around Super Bowl events.

The West End and an area near the Hilton Anatole are "clean zones." Some signs, like the ones highlighting Coors Light and other official sponsors of the game, have to be approved by the NFL.
   
Inspectors told Allen his patio signs were also in violation. He refused to move them, so he got a warning. 

"They told me I had to take it down and I said, 'No, that's not what we were told,'" he said.
   
Under the "clean zone" policy, code officials cannot remove any advertising inside an owner's certificate of occupancy, even if the signs feature companies not tied to the Super Bowl. Allen said the outside signs are still on his property.        

"The problem is, we have not been able to get a specific document that says this is what you can and cannot do," he said.

"Despite our best efforts to educate all merchants, there appears to be some confusion regarding the so-called Clean Zone," read a statement released by the City of Dallas. "Therefore, the City's Office of Special Events will work over the weekend to reach out to those merchants and Code Compliance staff to make sure everyone understands the rules."

Arlington has a "clean zone" around Cowboys Stadium.

Fort Worth has two "clean zones" --  one in Sundance Square and the other around the Omni Hotel.

The City of Fort Worth has also received a few complaints from businesses. City officials there are working on resolving those issues. 

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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