NEW ORLEANS -- As New Orleans prepares to host the Super Bowl, the city is also preparing to enforce temporary rules inside a so-called "clean zone" surrounding events leading up to the big game.
Host cities agree to adopt "clean zone" ordinances to help control activities that conflict with NFL sponsorships and the integrity of the game.
City approval for things such as temporary structures, signage and advertising are tightly regulated in the zone.
The zone boundaries include much of downtown, the French Quarter and the CBD.
"These clean zones are areas that are free of temporary ambush marketing, signage and events and other recognition of conflicting sponsors of the NFL," said New Orleans Sports Foundation President and CEO Jay Cicero.
The city forced ambush marketers to remove Coke and Power Aid advertisements from sidewalks in a similar clean zone during the NCAA Final Four Basketball tournament earlier this year.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Press Secretary Ryan Berni said a number of city agencies and the NOPD will be on the look out for clean zone violators during the Super Bowl.
"There's cease and desist letters," said Berni. "There are summonses and there are fines that range depending on the violation. Competing brands or companies will not be approved for temporary structures or advertising or signage."
Clean zones have been challenged in federal court as a possible violation of free speech. But, courts have held that regulation of commercial speech is valid if it directly advances an important governmental interest.
The Super Bowl is expected to have a $432 million economic impact on the region.
"This is nothing new for us," said Cicero. "I think we did our first clean zone for the 2002 Super Bowl. The vast majority of businesses go along with it. Where there may be an issue is where a business may not have known about it or didn't understand what it was."
Clean zone regulations will be enforced from Jan. 28 through Feb. 5.
"There's going to be a lot of people in town and a lot of major corporate folks both sponsors and not that will be trying to host events in the Downtown and French Quarter areas," said Berni. "It's just really important for business owners, especially locals to make sure that they know what they need to have to be in compliance."
For more information on the New Orleans Clean Zone click this link.