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Parks & Public Spaces

U.S. Open viewing event in Madison Square Park

WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy has applied for a special events permit for August 25 through September 9, 2007 to hold viewing of the US Open; and

WHEREAS, American Express will have a Jumbotron screen on the Farragut Monument     (considered a major work of historic art), bleachers on the plaza, a viewing area, food concessions provided by companies to be determined by an RFP, and several activities yet to be determined at the south end of Madison Square Park; and

WHEREAS, No plans were available for the activities at the south end of the park; and

WHEREAS, No layout was presented for the entire event; 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 if events run later than 11:00p.m.the Jumbotron will remain on; and

WHEREAS, Beer and wine will be sold for consumption in selected areas; 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 commercial promotion, the length of event and the evening schedule of events are major issues;

WHEREAS, On the weekend before the US Open event and the two Sundays of the US Open event there will be major parades and street festivals surrounding Madison Square Park with many thousands of people converging on the area;  and

WHEREAS: These events have already been approved by SAPO; and

WHEREAS; There have been significant complaints about noise and congestion with regard to the US Open event and the above mentioned festivals from the community; 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 recommends denial of a permit to Madison Square Park Conservancy to allow American Express to take over a public park for fifteen days to promote their product and broadcast the US Open.

The above resolution failed with a vote of 25 in favor, 9 opposed, 1 abstention.   

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