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Parks & Public Spaces

Madison Square Park Conservancy application to hold viewing for US Open

WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy has applied for a special events permit for September 2 – 10, 2006 to hold viewing of the US Open; and

WHEREAS, The set-up will begin Thursday, August 31 at 6:00 p.m. and clean-up will end Monday, September 11, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.; and

WHEREAS, American Express will have a Jumbotron screen on the Farragut Monument, bleachers on the plaza, a viewing area (exclusive for AMEX cardholders in the drained reflecting pool), food concessions provided by companies to be determined by an RFP, a speed serve promotional area and a kiosk to solicit AMEX customers; and

WHEREAS, The US Open will be broadcast with sound from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day and evening; and

WHEREAS, Beer and wine will be sold; and

WHEREAS, Signage will be significant in size and number; and

WHEREAS, This event is commercial in nature; and

WHEREAS, Sound, security, refuse, park space for private promotion, the length of event and the evening schedule of events are major issues;

WHEREAS, This event was held last year despite the recommendation of denial, resulting in numerous complaints by local residents; and

WHEREAS, Neither the Parks Department nor the Madison Square Conservancy properly notified the Board of their intentions to hold this event again this year; and

WHEREAS, Due to this lack of notification, the Board was unable to post the neighborhood informing the public that the Board would be reviewing this item; and

WHEREAS, The Parks Department and the Conservancy made no real effort to work with the Board and address prior concerns; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five believes using scarce public space for commercial endeavors is unacceptable; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five strongly recommends the denial of a permit to Madison Square Park Conservancy to allow American Express to take over a public park for twelve days to promote their product and broadcast the US Open.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 27 in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstention.    

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